TODAY, Spain’s King Felipe VI paid a surprise visit to Madrid’s makeshift emergency hospital at Ifema Conference Centre.
He was accompanied by Health Minister Salvador Illa, Defence Minister Margarita Robles, Regional Health Councillor Enrique Ruiz, Madrid’s Mayor José Manuel Martínez Almeida and Ifema’s Director Eduardo López-Puertas.
The temporary hospital was set up by Spain’s Military Emergency Unit due to the soaring number of coronavirus cases in Madrid in a bid to avoid the collapse of the capital’s already overburdened hospitals. The temporary hospital started to receive patients over the weekend, and is already reported to be treating many of those infected with the deadly disease.
In the first phase, the facility will have around 1,300 beds, however capacity can be increased to 5,500 beds if necessary, according to the Ministry of Health.
The impressed King received a tour of the premises with his accompanying Ministers. In his speech today, the King described the hospital as a ‘source of hope’ which will undoubtedly ‘uplift the morale’ of many during this difficult time. The Ministry of Health is contemplating converting other Congress Centres into temporary hospitals across the country, such as those in Sevilla and Malaga, should the need arise.
You can check out the video of the King’s full visit (in Spanish) here.