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Spain reinstitutes curbs amid virus resurgence

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Spain reinstitutes curbs amid virus resurgence

Pupils wait to wash their hands Friday on the first day of classes at SEK-El Castillo International School in Villafranca del Castillo, on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain. (AP/Bernat Armangue) MADRID — Authorities in Madrid, Spain, the European capital experiencing the worst second-wave outbreak, are introducing new curbs on social gatherings starting Monday. The restrictions coincide with the opening of most schools, which is perceived as a potential tipping point in the battle against the virus.

The focus is especially on areas like San Diego, a culturally diverse neighborhood of narrow streets and small apartments where many residents continued commuting to work over the summer, often to do manual labor and unstable jobs.

"The south of Madrid is where the north’s cheap labor crams into small apartments," said Simona Filip, 44, a migrant from Romania whose 6-year-old son is set to go back to school Tuesday.

Her son struggled with online learning ever since Spain went into lockdown in mid-March and a nonprofit organization gave the family an electronic tablet for the boy to use.

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"The kid needs proper studies because I can’t help him and my husband needs to work," Filip told The Associated Press this week. "We have no other choice but to hope that the school will keep him safe."

In the past two weeks, Spain has had a cumulative incidence of nearly 217 confirmed virus cases for every 100,000 residents, four times the European average. But in the southern Vallecas district with San Diego at its center, that index closely watched by pandemic experts rose to 1,300 last week and remained above 1,000 cases Friday.

Jorge Nacarino, president of the […]

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