By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

Health officials in Spain are reporting an increase in COVID-19 cases, prompting the government to reinstitute lockdowns in cities like Madrid.

During the past two weeks, Spain has recorded nearly 130,000 new cases, bringing the country total to  778,607 cases, making it one of the hardest hit countries in the world and the most cases seen in any European country.

In Madrid, 1,586 new infections were reported Wednesday, or 40 percent of the country’s total for that day.

The Spanish Ministry of Health announced Wednesday new coordinated actions in public health to respond to the increases in the outbreak:

Specifically, it is established that it is necessary to implement new measures in populations with more than 100,000 inhabitants that have an incidence greater than 500 cases per 100,000 people in the last 14 days, a positivity of diagnostic tests for active infection greater than 10% and who are in autonomous communities with an ICU bed occupancy by Covid-19 patients greater than 35% of the usual staff.

The entry and exit of people from the affected municipalities will be restricted, except for those displacements, adequately justified, that occur due to assistance to health centers, services and establishments, compliance with labor, professional, business or legal obligations, assistance to university, teaching and educational centers, including schools for early childhood education and assistance and care for the elderly, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or especially vulnerable people, among others.

The sweeping confinement echoes strict new measures that are being introduced in many countries across the continent as a second wave grips Europe.