Investigation launched after 17 coronavirus deaths in single nursing home in Spain

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

Authorities in Spain have launched an investigation after 17 people died as a result of coronavirus at the same nursing home.

Fifteen residents of the Monte Hermoso facility in Madrid have died since Friday after contracting Covid-19, while another two died after being transferred to hospital.

According to El Pais, the elderly residents who tested positive had been confined to the nursing home until Tuesday and were not receiving proper hospital care.

Relatives of the victims claim they were not told about the spread of the illness at the home and filed an official complaint to Spanish authorities.

A boy wearing a protective mask walks past Monte Hermoso nursing home in Madrid, where 17 people died. (AP)
(PA graphic)

Yolanda Cumia, who was informed of her father’s death at 2:30am on Tuesday, told Telemadrid TV: “Either the authorities have been covering this up or the situation is just completely out of control.”

At least 623 people have died from coronavirus in Spain, according to John Hopkins University – the second highest figure in Europe after Italy.

Staffers at the Monte Hermoso nursing home help an old woman lie down on the bed in Madrid. (AP)

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Madrid accounts for the majority of the deaths.

Fernando Simon, the head of Spain’s health emergency centre, said the coronavirus death toll in the country was inflated by nursing homes that had been hit by the pandemic.

He added: “In the regions where nursing homes are affected, there is an impact on [the overall number of] serious cases and deaths.”

Spain has closed its land borders for those wishing to enter the country, but they will remain open for those leaving the country.

Britons have been advised against non-essential travel to anywhere in the world as the coronavirus crisis closes borders around the globe.

UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab said the fast-paced nature of the crisis meant it was now necessary to issue global guidance.

The advice takes effect immediately and will last for an initial 30-day period.

The Foreign Office said Britons who decide that they still need to travel abroad should be fully aware of the increased risks of doing so – including the possibility of being stranded overseas if restrictions are put in place.