COVID-19 : Real Madrid open up Bernabeu as medical supplies centre

General view of the football stadium of Real Madrid, Santiago Bernabeu, that will be used as a sanitary products stock and distribution centre on March 26, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 20,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more.

Real Madrid's stadium will be used to store medical supplies needed in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic, the Spanish club announced on Thursday.

“Real Madrid Club de Futbol, in collaboration with the High Council for Sport, has launched a project in Madrid to supply and distribute strategic medical supplies to be used in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic,” the club said in a statement.

“As a result of the close collaboration between the two institutions, the Santiago Bernabeu will offer a space that is equipped to store the donations of medical supplies required in the fight against this pandemic.” 

The club added that it “will provide a facility for organizations and businesses, particularly those belonging to the sports sector, to leave money or material donations”. 

With over 56,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, Spain is one of the worst-hit countries in the world, and its tally of over 4,000 fatalities is the second highest after Italy.

On Thursday, the country's Health Ministry reported 655 deaths and 8,578 new cases over the past 24 hours.

The capital Madrid has been the country’s worst-hit area, accounting for over 2,000 deaths and 17,000 cases. 

With hospitals and funeral services overwhelmed, a makeshift hospital has been established in a convention center in Madrid, while a large skating rink is being used as a morgue.

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