80% of people in Madrid will get COVID-19, official says.





80% of people in Madrid will get COVID-19, official says


A worker cleans the pavement of Plaza Mayor square in Madrid, Spain, on March 18.
A worker cleans the pavement of Plaza Mayor square in Madrid, Spain, on March 18. Manu Fernandez/AP
Eight out of ten people in the Spanish capital will get COVID-19, according to the president of the Region of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso.
“They will have mild symptoms,” she said, but added that "it will be a problem" for the vulnerable population, which is around 15% of people.


"This virus has been in Spain for a longer time and is going to spread to practically everyone, and in most, it will not leave lasting marks. But the problem is the vulnerable population," said Díaz Asuyo in an interview on Spanish radio. 
She called the disease "lethal" for elderly people with pre-existing conditions, and said that in 24 or 48 hours "it can end the life of a person who is in the vulnerable population group."

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As a result of this, the region of Madrid has sought to "save time," unify healthcare in the public and private sectors, and convert "normal beds into ICU beds."
Some 580 beds in these critical units are occupied, Díaz Asuyo said, and the Ministry of Health plans to facilitate "new rapid tests" to detect coronavirus this weekend.
51 min ago

"Zero prospect" of banning travel in and out of London, UK government says


People wait for passengers at the International Arrivals hall in Heathrow Airport, in London, England, on March 17.
People wait for passengers at the International Arrivals hall in Heathrow Airport, in London, England, on March 17. Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
The UK government has attempted to play down the prospect of an imminent lockdown in London, a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson declined to rule out stricter measures for the city.
On Wednesday, multiple government sources told CNN that conservations had taken place in Downing Street discussing measures ranging from shutting down parts of the capital’s transport network to restricting travel in and out of the city. Similar reports appeared across the UK media. 
On Thursday, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said there was “zero prospect” of any restrictions on travel in and out of London, and that there were “no plans” to shut down its transport network. However, the city’s transport authority had already closed parts of London’s Tube network, and the government did not rule out introducing further social distancing measures in the coming days.
Johnson was due to meet the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, on Thursday to discuss plans to fight coronavirus in London, a spokesman for City Hall told CNN.
Giving evidence to the London assembly on Thursday, Khan said too many Londoners were failing to follow official advice. “We are clearly still in the early phase of this crisis but the spread of the virus is at a more advanced stage in London than in other parts of the country. This means that further measures will need to be introduced at the point at which they will have the biggest effect,” he said.


53 min ago

China to divert some Beijing-bound international flights amid growing imported cases


Airport employees assist inbound passengers transferring at Capital International Airport in Beijing, China, on March 18.
Airport employees assist inbound passengers transferring at Capital International Airport in Beijing, China, on March 18. Qilai Shen/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Chinese authorities have announced that some Beijing-bound international flights will be diverted to nearby cities for health screenings in the coming days.
Passengers will clear immigration and customs at their first point of entry and only those deemed healthy will be allowed to board the same aircraft again to fly to Beijing.
Some context: The Chinese capital has recorded a growing number of imported coronavirus cases in recent days.
Beijing authorities have already tightened screening and quarantine procedures targeting international arrivals. With a few exceptions, all travelers arriving from abroad are now required to undergo a 14-day quarantine at designated government facilities at their own expense.
59 min ago

COVID-19 deaths spike above 700 in Spain


Medical staff wave from a window at La Paz Hospital in Madrid, Spain, on March 18, as the country works to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Medical staff wave from a window at La Paz Hospital in Madrid, Spain, on March 18, as the country works to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
Deaths from COVID-19 in Spain have jumped over 20% in the last day, reaching 767, according to a Spanish Health Ministry official speaking at a daily briefing in Madrid Thursday.
There are now a total of 17,147 cases recorded in the country, the ministry added.
Meanwhile, 939 people are in intensive care, said Fernando Simón, director of the Spanish Coordinating Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies at Spain’s Ministry of Health. 

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