THE Melia Palma Bay Hotel has become the first tourist establishment in the Balearic Islands to be transformed into a healthcare centre.
Expected to open its doors to patients on Thursday, the hotel will be dedicated to providing medical care to citizens diagnosed with COVID-19.
In aim of lessening the strain on the health system, the hotel will care for those with mild symptoms or live with someone who is considered vulnerable.
This will allow Son Espases and Son Llatzer Hospital to focus their efforts on treating more serious cases.
Soldiers from Palma’s 47th Infantry Regiment are already busy adapting 250 rooms at the hotel to ensure it is fully equipped to deal with new patients.
The military have also moved furniture and beds from rooms into the hotel’s open spaces, including their restaurant and cafe.
Speaking at a press conference, the President of the Balearic Islands, Francina Armengol, explained that the hotel will be medicalised to deal with the influx of cases.
“We expect there to be an increase in the number of infections.
“For this reason, we are working with several hotel chains in Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera to prepare for this eventuality.”
Several hotels across Spain have already made their premises available to treat coronavirus patients, including the Marriott Auditorium and Catalunya Plaza Mayor Hotel in Madrid.
The news comes as 78 more people have been diagnosed in the Balearic Islands, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 478.
From Sunday to Monday, the number of cases increased by 21% and the region is now in the top tier for the fastest rates of infections in the country.
The death toll currently stands at 13, with 68 health professionals infected, according to figures released by the Ministry of Health.
The most recent fatality was a 33-year-old man with a neurological disorder who died at Son Espases Hospital this morning.