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UPDATE 1-Madrid asks for help from Spanish army against coronavirus surge

21 Sep 2020 / 20:54 H.

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    MADRID, Sept 21 (Reuters) - The regional chief of Madrid requested on Monday help from the army to fight the coronavirus surge in and around the Spanish capital where local authorities have ordered a partial lockdown of some poorer areas, prompting protests during the weekend.

    "We need help from the army for disinfection ... and to strengthen local police and law enforcement," Isabel Diaz Ayuso told a news briefing after meeting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in an attempt to reduce contagion in Spain's worst-hit region.

    She also requested makeshift hospitals to be set up in the capital again, about three months after they were decommissioned when Spain emerged from its strict lockdown having reduced the number of infections.

    At the height of the first wave of the epidemic in March-April, Spain deployed thousands of troops to help with the anti-coronavirus effort. (Reporting by Inti Landauro and Jose Elías Rodríguez, editing by Andrei Khalip)

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