Madrileños who called to report symptoms have complained of long periods of being on hold, followed by calls being dropped. Those that have had success getting through are often told to expect a call back by a medic only to still be waiting 72 hours later.
The service at coronamadrid.com was announced on Thursday and invites those who display symptoms to log their clinical progress and receive recommendations on how best to treat them.
Currently available online at www.coronamadrid.com, the tool “will be made available within days as a mobile application”, the regional government said on Thursday. “This application aims to help avoid the collapse of the Madrid region’s telephone helplines. Carry out this self-test only if you think you’re showing symptoms,” it said, urging residents to “be responsible”. The tool poses a series of questions about symptoms, do you have a cough, a temperature or breathing difficulties), evaluates them regularly and offers instructions and recommendations in accordance with the results.
It also has an optional location function to “better organise the medical resources to obtain a faster and more efficient response in each individual case,” officials said. Spain has seen cases of COVID-19 soar over the past 10 days, and is the fourth worst-hit country in the world, with 17,147 cases and 767 deaths. Madrid has suffered the brunt of the epidemic, registering some 6,777 cases or around 40 percent of total. It has also suffered 498 deaths, some two-thirds of the overall fatalities across Spain.
The app invites the user to log their temperature every 12 hours.
It also takes a record of your telephone number and address so that health authorities can find you if your symptoms worsen.
It explains that the objective is to “help all professionals working for your health and wellbeing”.
The coronavirus hotline for the Madrid region, 900 102 112, continues to be operational and those with severe symptoms and great difficulty breathing who feel that there life is in danger are still being told to call the general emergency line, 112.
Madrid remains the focus of the epidemic that has swept across Spain, even as residents are confined to their homes.
Hospitals in the capital are in crisis as they attempt to deal with the huge surge of cases. Official data on Thursday showed that there were close to 14,000 reported cases of the coronavirus and more that 620 deaths.