Catalonia’s region of Segria under indefinite lockdown due to new Covid-19 outbreak

epa08526502 View of a field hospital set up by health authorities next to Arnau de Vilanova Teaching Hospital in Lleida, in the area of Segria, Catalonia, Spain, 03 July 2020 (issued on 04 July 2020). The Catalan authorities decided to confine residents of Segria from noon due to a rising number of COVID-19 cases. Some 210,000 people live in the zone. EPA-EFE/Ramon Gabriel

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The government of Catalonia has ordered an indefinite new lockdown for the Segrià region of Spain due to outbreaks of Covid-19.

The confinement will be effective from midday on Saturday and has no end date, regional president Quim Torra said.

Police checkpoints will be used to enforce the lockdown order, according to the BBC. Catalonian leaders ruled out the idea of “selective confinement,” opting instead for the entire lockdown order, according to The Independent.

On Friday, a field hospital was set up outside the Lleida’s Arnau de Vilanova hospital in the region’s capital city of Lleida, the BBC reported. It has the capacity to treat up to 105 additional patients if needed.

The confinement of Segrià began at 12pm on Saturday, and until 4pm any non-residents in the area were permitted to leave, while residents were allowed to enter. From that deadline onward, no one has been able to enter or leave, with the exception of those who need to for work. The restrictions also affect transport, trade and business activities.

The decision has been communicated to the courts, and will be in place until a new resolution is passed. A Catalan minister suggested today in a radio interview that it could last around 15 days. “It will depend on the epidemiological progress,” he said. After that period, the lockdown can be extended with the permission of the courts.

A total of 25 units of the regional police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, have been deployed in the area in order to ensure that the confinement is respected, according to the Catalan government. Torra said that the decision had been “difficult” but had been taken to guarantee citizens’ health and because he considered protecting life to be a priority. The premier added that he had given orders to the Mossos to fine anyone who does not comply with the orders.

El Pais / Independent (UK) / BBC 

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