MADRID will not enter ‘phase 1’ of de-escalation from the coronavirus lockdown this Monday, May 11, report El Mundo.

The Ministry of Health believes the capital’s system for conducting COVID-19 tests in health centres needs improvement before the autonomous city is ready to ease restrictions.

The decision comes after Madrid’s director general of Public Health, Yolanda Fuentes, resigned on Thursday as she refused to sign a phase change proposal – she feared the region was not ready for de-escalation.

The autonomous government agreed to send the proposal last Wednesday around 10 pm, but without the signatures of Fuentes and minister of health Enrique Ruiz Escudero.

Ruiz Escudero had also argued for waiting at least a week before requesting the passage to phase 1 of the de-escalation plan.

Among central government requires is the availability of two ICU beds for every 10,000 inhabitants. In Madrid, this would mean having 1,400 ICU beds – but currently there are only 1,350 available.

The number of hospital beds required ranges from 37 to 40 per 10,000 inhabitants, meaning Madrid’s current 17,000 beds fall short of a required 24,750.

It comes as all autonomous regions in Spain entered ‘phase 0’ of a five-step coronavirus de-escalation plan on May 4.

The islands of La Gomera, El Hierro, La Graciosa y Formentera all automatically entered ‘phase 1’ – which allows restaurants to reopen their terraces, among other measures – while various autonomous communities are expecting to enter phase 1 this coming Monday.

The de-escalation will continue through phases 2, 3 and 4, until the procedure is completed at the end of June.

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