Spanish hospitals have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, but Spanish animal hospitals are still struggling to cope.
The state-run animal hospital in Madrid has closed and will be replaced by a new animal hospital that will provide care for the homeless, the regional governor, Manuel Pérez-Mendoza, said on Tuesday.
The move comes after several days of intense criticism from the public and doctors who said the cat hospital, which is the only veterinary centre in the Spanish capital, would be a disaster.
It is an example of the challenges we are facing as a country, Mr Péez-Menda said.
The new cat facility will be opened in the next three to four weeks and will have a capacity of about 50 animals, said Carlos González, head of animal care at the new facility.
The move comes as hospitals across Spain are struggling to deal with the surge of new cases, with some hospitals closing their doors completely, while others are turning to temporary care, including in hospitals in Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona and Barcelona, which have seen a surge of cases.
A total of 14 people have died from the coronazepine-based disease so far in Spain, including four in Madrid.
Spain has been the world’s most-visited country for the virus and has been hit particularly hard by new cases.
Health authorities have warned that as many as 20 million people in Spain could be infected, with at least 3 million of those having been infected in the past few days.
The outbreak has hit Madrid hardest, with around 1,000 new cases reported so far, the second-highest number in the world.
The capital of Spain has been especially hard hit, with more than 1,600 people having died in the city alone.
Some have taken to social media to express their frustration at the city’s lack of attention to the crisis, while Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said the capital will remain under lockdown until the virus is under control.
The Catalan government, which governs the autonomous region of Catalonia, is due to hold a special session on Wednesday to discuss measures to control the coronovirus.
Catalonia has been struggling with the spread of the virus for years, and there have been a number of social media campaigns in recent weeks aimed at rallying support for the region.
The region has been rocked by a series of recent attacks, including a deadly attack on a shopping centre, a car ramming rampage and a hostage-taking at a bank in Barcelona, Spain’s most populous city.