Spain’s unsung heroes: out of work self-employed build emergency hospital in record time

Heartbreak as Lydia de Vega one of Asia's fastest women dies aged 57. Image: paneng_mercado/Instagram

ALTRUISTIC self-employed volunteers forced to stop work due to coronavirus are among the unsung heroes who have built 300 metres of ducts to supply oxygen to ICU beds at the temporary Ifema hospital in Madrid in record time.

Dozens of firefighters, military personnel and a ‘long list of altruistic’ self-employed volunteers have constructed the vital oxygen ducts in just three days.

One of those involved in the incredible feat, Chumi, told Sexta Noticias that “without the help of all of the volunteers it would not have been possible.” He explained that construction work began on Monday at 8am and was completed on Wednesday at noon.

About 40 to 50 people worked around the clock, with the majority being autonomous and unemployed personnel who “with all their good faith, their goodwill, have come here with their tools to help make this happen, thanks to all these people.”

The emergency facility in Madrid will offer up to 5,500 hospital beds, including 96 ICU beds, of which 64 are already functioning.

Another of those involved in the emergency hospital, said “people often talk about heroes, but at times like these in Spain it is more important than ever.”

“We’re not going to have life to thank them, they don’t make the news or the front pages of the newspapers. You know who you are, plumbers, freelancers, EMUs, firemen and a long list of people have made the unthinkable possible in record time, with their own equipment. To all of them, thank you very much.”

This article was brought to you by The Boardwalk Marbella.

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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