Spain: Army Has Found Elderly Abandoned, Dead at Care Homes

Madrid turns ice rink into morgue as death toll rises
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2020 4:25 PM CDT
Ice Rink in Madrid Turned Into a Morgue
Police officers stand in front of Madrid's ice rink turned into a temporary morgue due the COVID-19 crisis in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, March 24, 2020.   (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

The news out of Spain is grim: As the coronavirus death toll continues to rise, Madrid has turned an ice rink into a temporary mortuary for victims of COVID-19. On Tuesday, health officials in the country announced there had been 514 new deaths over the past 24 hours, a new record for the country that brought its death toll to 2,696 so far, the BBC reports. There are currently 39,673 confirmed cases in Spain, the second highest number in Europe behind Italy. Madrid's municipal funeral home announced it would stop collecting coronavirus victims because it doesn't have the necessary protective equipment, so the city will use the Palacio de Hielo (Ice Palace) temporarily until funeral homes can collect bodies.

The ice rink is near a field hospital that has been set up for coronavirus patients. The Spanish defense minister also said this week that while making rounds, the army found older people "abandoned" by staff at some care homes, "completely left to fend for themselves, or even dead in their beds," per Sky News. Anyone found to have abandoned their responsibilities in cases like that will be prosecuted, the minister said, per the Guardian. Health officials say 87% of coronavirus deaths in Spain were people aged 70 or older. Meanwhile, Italy has 69,176 confirmed cases and 6,820 deaths, but since not everyone is being tested, one official says the true number of confirmed cases is likely 10 times higher, per Reuters. Cases in Germany, however, seem to be leveling off, per DW. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.