Twenty deaths have been registered on Monday and Tuesday of elderly patients in the Monte Hermoso residence in Madrid. All of them are said to be due to coronavirus.

The home currently accommodates 200 elderly patients of which 70 are said to be currently infected.

The relatives of the patients say they are absolutely appalled as they denounce the “lack of adequate procedures and the lack of transparency” shown by staff in the centre.

“They have fed us all week with erroneous data, without informing us that any of the residents had the coronavirus symptoms, and only giving information to the immediate relatives of individual patients,” Rosana Castillo, who has her mother in the residence, told the Press.

Although the centre is privately run, the places are allocated by the Community of Madrid.

According to Castillo, the outbreak of COVID-19 saw the residence close its doors to the public, including all relatives of the patients, last Saturday, however a week earlier, on March 8, the centre reported that it had several employees as well as a number of elderly patients with the virus.

“Until Saturday they have been telling us that there were just 10 cases. But yesterday, they announced that there were 70 cases and 17 deaths, following tests carried out by the health authorities.

They have drip fed us all week with inaccurate information, without telling us that many residents had the symptoms of the disease and only giving individual information, “said Ms Castillo.

A relative of one of the inmates has accused the management of the Monte Hermoso residence in Madrid of “malpractice”, because the spread of the pandemic has occurred at such high speed, and it is feared that both the number of infected and of deaths will increase in the next few hours. For this reason, she has asked for more personnel, medical staff and supplies to contain the virus.

“The centre has only one doctor who works in the morning and one nurse on duty in the morning and afternoon. Now they tell us that the doctor comes in all day, but we don’t know what happens at night. They sent us a letter saying that the resources have improved and that they had bought additional oxygen, “she said.

The complainant also maintains that the centre has suggested the possibility of transferring the uninfected relatives to their homes. “They have sent us an email with a document that we must sign and return and on which we must indicate the rejection of this possibility, maintaining the care of the residents in the home,” she added.

For all these reasons, Ms Castillo has asked the public health ministry to inspect this residence with several hospital doctors. “It is outrageous that we are simply letting these people die, ” she said.

The Madrid regional government of the Community say that they have provided guidelines and public health protocols to these centres in order that they can contain the coronavirus, and areas have been set up where people with symptoms are cared for by specialist doctors.

In addition, they say that the staff is complying with the protocols and the most serious cases of coronavirus are being transferred to hospitals,” with the families receiving information at all times They also add that no family member is being encouraged to take infected family members from the residences.

Meanwhile rather closer to home at the Domus Vi nursing home in Alcoy patients have been put into isolation, as all family visits are suspended.

The focus of coronavirus has spread rapidly in recent days, with 45 residents now said to be affected, out of a total of 140.

In a statement issued early on Tuesday the management company said that it recognises that there has been “some deceased with the coronavirus”, qualifying it by adding that they are all elderly people who suffer from other ailments.

The Minister of Health, Ana Barceló, acknowledged this afternoon that there are indeed 45 residents with symptoms. She has also pointed out that there is one death, but it cannot be determined if it was as a consequence of the disease.

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