'Avoidable' coronavirus outbreak tears through Madrid homeless shelter

By Silvio Castellanos and Michael Gore. MADRID, Sept 2- A coronavirus outbreak at a Madrid homeless shelter, where 26 new infections were diagnosed on Wednesday amid a resurgence of the virus in Spain, has led staff to blame city authorities for not isolating those infected as they remained in crammed rooms. Madrid’s council said it would not remove the confirmed…

By Silvio Castellanos and Michael Gore

MADRID, Sept 2 (Reuters) – A coronavirus outbreak at aMadrid homeless shelter, where 26 new infections were diagnosedon Wednesday amid a resurgence of the virus in Spain, has ledstaff to blame city authorities for not isolating those infectedas they remained in crammed rooms.

With around 40 people cohabiting in a single room withshared showers, they say a single case detected a month ago hasled to contagion, and one death, that could have been avoided.

“When we notified the first cases, something specific forthem should have been set up … It’s impossible for us to keepthem separated and (the Madrid council) are not evacuatingthem,” Mariluz, a nurse at the San Isidro shelter, told Reuters.

The caseload in the shelter has now risen to 32 of its 250residents. The shelter tested 125 people on Tuesday and createda makeshift isolation zone for infected inhabitants.

Madrid’s council said it would not remove the confirmedcases immediately, promising to prepare a hotel to accommodatemoderate cases next week.

“We can’t wait two weeks for the hotel,” said EvaristoBordallo, a 39-year-old social worker. “We need these people tobe isolated within single rooms with individual showers in orderto prevent others from being infected.”

A source at Madrid’s social affairs department saidauthorities were working with health services to reorganise thespace to isolate those infected inside.

Since bringing the first wave of coronavirus largely undercontrol through a strict lockdown which ended in June, Spainsuffered a sharp resurgence of infections as measures wererelaxed and testing increased.(Reporting by Silvio Castellanos and Michael Gore; writing byClara-Laeila Laudette; editing by Andrei Khalip and GilesElgood)

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