No, footballer Ronaldo isn’t turning his hotels into Covid-19 hospitals

“Cristiano Ronaldo is turning his chain of hotels in Portugal into hospitals to treat those with underlying conditions who have coronavirus.” That’s the claim in a graphic shared on Facebook in South Africa.

“Their treatment will be free as Cristiano will be paying for everything, including salaries of doctors and nurses.”

Ronaldo is the star forward in Juventus, a professional Italian football club.

Portugal has more than 8,200 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection. But has the footballer opened his Portuguese hotels to Covid-19 patients?

‘We remain a hotel’

Ronaldo has opened two luxury hotels in Portugal in partnership with the Pestana hotel group, according to Goal.com.

They’re marketed as Pestana CR7 – the footballer’s initials and jersey number. One hotel is in Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, and the other in Funchal, Ronaldo’s hometown on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

But a spokesperson for the Lisbon hotel has reportedly denied the claim that it would be turned into a Covid-19 hospital.

RTL Nieuws quotes the spokesperson as saying (translated from Dutch): “We are a hotel. We are not going to become a hospital. We remain a hotel. It’s a normal day. We are constantly being phoned by the press. I wish you a nice day.”

A Pestana CR7 spokesperson told AFP Fact Check that “the information is inaccurate. We did not receive any indication in this regard.” 

And there is no mention of the plan on the Pestana CR7 Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts. A luxury hotel group would have announced such a major move.

On Facebook, Pestana CR7’s most recent post, from 18 March 2020, reads: “We are restricting our communications to the very essential. Be safe and follow the WHO guidelines. See you soon.”

Ronaldo quarantined

On March 12 It was announced that Ronaldo was under quarantine on Madeira after his teammate Daniele Rugani tested positive for Covid-19.

The footballer then issued a statement on Instagram, telling fans to follow the advice of the World Health Organization and public health bodies during the pandemic. 

He is yet to say anything else about the coronavirus, let alone announcing that his hotels would be taking in coronavirus patients. – Taryn Willows


 

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