As many as 1,000 tourists and staff were on Tuesday confined to a Tenerife hotel in the Spanish Canary Islands after a visiting Italian doctor tested positive for coronavirus, health authorities said.
Guests and staff were being tested for the virus at the H1 Costa Adeje Palace hotel, in the resort of Adeje in the south of the island.
Police are guarding the hotel to stop anyone other than health workers from entering or leaving, and guests were being confined to their rooms.
The unidentified doctor who was diagnosed with the virus on Tuesday voluntarily presented himself for tests because he suspected that he had coronavirus symptoms.
He had spent a week on holiday with his wife at the resort, which is popular with British tourists, when he became unwell.
He is being treated in an isolation unit at the University Hospital Nuestra Senora de Candelaria hospital. More tests will be carried out in Madrid today to confirm the diagnosis.
Spanish media reported that a man and a woman, who are believed to have stayed at the same hotel, have also been transferred to the same hospital for tests.
The doctor diagnosed with the virus is from Lombardy, one of the Italian regions which is seeing serious official restrictions on movement, after seven people died from coronavirus and 229 people were diagnosed.
“We are checking people who had contact with the patient, including the people at the hotel,” a spokesman for the Canary Islands’ health department told Al Jazeera.
Worried guests at the hotel were concerned they too might have come down with the virus. A room at the four-star hotel costs nearly 200 euros ($217) a night, but a senior source within the Canary Islands government told Al Jazeera: “Right now our priority is the health situation. All questions of who will have to pay for rooms and other arrangements will be dealt with later.”
A British tourist, who did not want to be named but said he was on a two-week holiday, told Al Jazeera: “This is scary. They are not telling us anything.”
Edward Sanders, another British man staying at the hotel, tweeted a note put under each guest’s bedroom door, which read: “Dear guests, we regret to inform you that for healthy reasons, the hotel has been closed down. Until the sanitary authorities warn, you must remain in your rooms.”