Tue, 07 Jul 2020

BUENOS AIRES, May 27 (Xinhua) -- Argentina's capital Buenos Aires on Wednesday opened a quarantine center to treat homeless people suffering from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The city's Costa Salguero exposition center, which hosted heads of state attending the Group of 20 summit in late 2018, now houses a specialized shelter that can accommodate up to 798 patients.

Homeless people with relatively mild symptoms that do not require hospitalization, or a majority of them, can be isolated at the shelter to limit the further spread of the disease, Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta told reporters during a tour of the facility.

"In recent days, cases (of infection) have significantly increased. We went from 83 a day to around 400. That's why we are taking measures and preparing to reduce the impact that this increase is causing, and today, with this quarantine center, we are taking a big step," Rodriguez said.

The complex is divided into five separate sections, three for men and two for women, each with a dining area and recreational space, showers, bathrooms and a nurse station, local officials told Xinhua.

In addition, the center has a 100-seat movie theater, internet connection, and activities, such as reading, table tennis and music listening.

An ambulance is available for transporting patients to the center, which has a staff of 285 professionals, mainly in healthcare, and can administer tests.

Argentina has reported a total of 13,228 cases of infection, and nearly half of them are in Buenos Aires.

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