Two areas in Spain are now locked down, affecting 300,000 people, with the Mariña area of Galicia adding to Lleida in Catalonia over the weekend, reports James Badcock.
The Catalan government health chief has said today that the confinement of Lleida and the surrounding area may last more than two weeks. Asturias, Spain’s first region to reach zero Covid cases for a two-week period, is controlling traffic from neighbouring Galicia.
The Covid-19 crisis is also exposing Spain’s poverty trap, says outgoing UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights Philip Alston. Mr Alston said that the pandemic has shown just how badly Spain’s welfare system is, leaving millions more on the brink of destitution than was the case during his visit to the country in January, when he saw “appalling levels of poverty and exclusion and shockingly high inequality”.
In his final report, released today, Mr Alston said: “Poverty in Spain is rooted in a social protection system that is broken, underfunded, impossible to navigate and not reaching the people who need it most”, with lockdown seeing “millions unable to work encountering delays, glitches and inadequate support”.
He said the Government’s introduction of Spain’s first national minimum income scheme to help 850,000 vulnerable families was a step in the right direction and a sign that the Government was not going to abandon the poorest to their fate as occurred in the last major crisis 10 years ago.