By Alyssa McMurtry
OVIEDO, Spain (AA) – Spain reported 42,885 more coronavirus infections on Friday, the second-highest daily surge since the pandemic began, as images from revelers in a Madrid nightclub scandalized the nation.
Videos uploaded to social media showed dozens of people singing and dancing in one of the capital’s most exclusive nightclubs without any masks.
In most of Spain, nightclubs have been closed. Yet in Madrid, they have been allowed to operate under 50% capacity on the condition that everyone stays seated at their tables, although the music can be played as loud as usual.
The Madrid nightclub association Noche Madrid admitted to occasional “problems” in the sector. The management of the Barcelo Theater, where the party took place, said it was a “spontaneous reaction” and the group dancing was later removed from the premises.
The consumer organization FACUA lodged a formal complaint with the Madrid Health Council about the event on Friday.
Responding to the worsening situation, Madrid Premier Isabel Ayuso announced stricter measures Friday, moving the curfew to 10 p.m. local time and banning all social gatherings of people who do not live together.
Nightclubs complying with the new rules may still remain open.
In the Spanish capital, almost one out of every 100 residents was infected with the coronavirus in the last two weeks.
La Rioja, where 65% of all intensive care units are full of COVID-19 patients, also announced they would tighten the rules to the extent that Spain’s emergency legislation allows.
On Friday, active hospitalizations surged again nationwide, with nearly 27,500 COVID-19 patients being treated. Nationwide, 37% of intensive care unit beds and 22% of all hospital beds are being used for the disease.
One week ago, there were just over 18,000 active COVID-19 patients in Spain.
Another 400 people lost their lives, bringing Spain’s official COVID-19 death toll to 55,441 on Friday.