Milan opens new Covid hotel as infections in Lombardy rise

Rome, Nov 4 (efe-epa).- The city of Milan, Italy’s economic heart and capital of one of the country’s worst-stricken regions by the second wave of coronavirus, has opened a new so-called Covid hotel to house asymptomatic patients unable to isolate at home.

Authorities in Lombardy, the first region in Europe to impose lockdown measures during the initial wave of the virus in spring, say the situation has become “critical” again, particularly in Milan, where Covid-19 was circulating uncontrolled.

Lombardy accounts for 100,000 of Italy’s 700,000 confirmed cases and infections are on the up, with around 9,000 detected each day.

Test positivity is also rising, sitting around 22 percent, the vast majority of which are asymptomatic.

In spring Milan authorities set up a coronavirus quarantine center in the four-star Michelangelo in the city center but this time they have chosen accommodation on the outskirts, a building originally slated to become a home for older people.

The Residenza Adriano, named after the neighborhood around it, offers 70 rooms with double or single beds and 17 apartments for families of two to three people.

“We started to receive guests yesterday. These are people who have tested positive, are without symptoms, but self-reliant and don’t need any medical assistance. They are sent here by the emergency services if they can prove that they are unable to quarantine at home,” said Andrea Casiraghi, director of the establishment.

“They are, for example, people who live with big families and they don’t have a lot of space or are smaller families but, for example, don’t have more than one bathroom, so spaces like this are necessary.”

A night’s stay at the hotel costs 100 euros, which is covered by the national health service.

The guests must remain isolated from one another during their quarantine period inside the hotel and food is left outside the door by staff.

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