Last Week's 'Women's Day' March Led To Surge Of Deadly Coronavirus Infections In Madrid

As the Italian lockdown enters its third day, Madrid is rapidly becoming Europe's latest problem area.

According to the Spanish-language newspaper El Mundo, which cited data from local health councilor Enrique Ruiz Escudero, 2,000 people in the Madrid region alone have tested positive for Covid-19 as of March 13, up from 1,388 as of March 12. Escudero described the surge as "very worrying."

At 6 pm on Thursday, the number of cases in Madrid had stood at 1,388 out of a total of 3,004 in Spain as a whole.

Enrique Ruiz Escudero begged Spain's socialist-controlled federal government for more supplies to help combat the virus as "community spread" intensifies. Ruiz Escudero made the comments as he and other top Madrid officials pleaded with Spain's central government for more supplies to help combat the virus as the "community spread" intensifies.

Ruiz Escuadero called for restaurants and bars to close and begged people to stay at home to reduce the risk of infection.

"This is the only thing that we know we can do to contain it," Ruiz Escudero said of the calls for citizens to remain at home, adding that 190 people with the virus were now in intensive care in Madrid, while 40 people in the region have died.

The health councilor said the number of cases was expected to rise "very much" in the coming days, mostly due to the contagion spread at last weekend's 'International Women's Day' March, where thousands gathered to march without much regard for public health concerns (or the serious risks they were creating for vulnerable people in their communities).

Spain appears to have won a three-way battle with Germany and France for the mantle of Europe's second-worst outbreak of Covid-19. Spain has the second-highest number of total confirmed cases in Europe after Italy now that the virus has accelerated over the past week since the Women's March.

Europe's fourth-largest economy has decided to shutter its schools to try and contain the pandemic, while also closing museums and banning events with more than 1,000 people.

Though tougher restrictions have been adopted, it will take at least a week to figure out whether they've worked or not.