Spanish soldiers disinfecting nursing homes in the fight against the coronavirus have made the horrifying discovery of some residents living among infectious bodies abandoned in their beds, officials said.
Defense Minister Margarita Robles said the elderly residents were living in squalor and “completely left to fend for themselves,” but did not give exact locations for the homes or say how many corpses had been found.
Robles the private TV channel Telecinco that the government was “going to be strict and inflexible when dealing with the way older people are treated” in nursing homes, according to the BBC.
The Defense Ministry said that workers at some nursing homes had split after the coronavirus was detected.
Health Minister Salvador Illa told reporters that retirement homes were “an absolute priority for the government.”
“We will exercise the most intensive monitoring of these centers,” she added.
Prosecutors said an investigation has been launched.
The disturbing news came as Spain on Tuesday announced a record daily jump of 6,584 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the overall total to 39,673.
The number of deaths also surged by a record number of 514 to 2,696.
Meanwhile, Madrid took over the public Palacio de Hielo ice-skating rink after the morgue in the hard-hit capital city overflowed. To date, 1,535 people have died in Madrid.
City officials took up the rink’s offer after the municipal funeral service said it could take no more infected bodies until it restocked with more protective gear.
The bodies were to be held at the skating complex until they can be taken for cremation or burial.
“This is the tough week,” Fernando Simón, head of Spain’s health emergency center, said at a press conference, adding that 5,400 health-care workers have been infected.
With Post wires
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