MADRID — Spain’s total number of COVID-19 infections has climbed to more than 1,240,000, but the government said Monday it won’t be introducing stricter lockdown conditions for now.
Over the weekend, a spate of violent protests in a dozen cities were held in response to a nightly curfew introduced last week in Spain. Mostly young protesters set fire to vehicles and trash cans, blocked roads and threw objects at riot police.
Spain’s Minister for Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escrivá told Antena 3 television Monday that “this kind of behavior is to be expected” as people grow weary of restrictions against the spread of COVID-19.
The Health Ministry reported just over 55,000 new cases in Spain since it last published official figures on Friday. More than 36,000 people have died in Spain since the pandemic began.
Asturias, a region on the north coast, asked the national government to order people in the province to stay at home for two weeks.
The Health Ministry refused, saying it is waiting to see the results of the central government’s latest restrictions, introduced last week. A strict lockdown from March to June brought down the number of cases but hit the economy hard.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— America stands at a crossroads the day before Election Day, facing a stark choice between candidates in the midst of historic pandemic
— U.S. hospitals are scrambling to hire more nurses as the coronavirus pandemic surges, leading to stiff competition and increased costs.
— Germany kicks off a partial lockdown, as several European countries tighten restrictions this week
— The BBC says Britain’s Prince William had the virus in April, around the same time as his father Prince Charles
— Follow AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
GENEVA — A top World Health Organization scientist focusing on the coronavirus response says there has been no transmission or clusters at the agency’s Geneva headquarters.
Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on the COVID-19 pandemic, made the comments to reporters after the U.N. agency’s chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced that he was starting a self-quarantine after coming into contact with a person who tested positive for the virus.
“I am well and without symptoms, but will self quarantine in the coming days in line with WHO protocols,” Tedros said via video conference from his home during a regular WHO news conference on Monday.
Van Kerkhove said the agency was tracking all cases among staff and carrying out contact tracing to ensure that transmission wasn’t taking place at its Geneva headquarters.
“We haven’t had any transmission take place on the premises, and we have no clusters on the premises,” she said. “But it is something that we’re monitoring every day.”
O’FALLAN, Mo. — Missouri hospital leaders are raising alarms about bed capacity as coronavirus cases continue to spike, with some urging Gov. Mike Parson to issue a statewide mask mandate.
Meanwhile, an eastern