Cristiano Ronaldo ‘turning his hotels into coronavirus treatment centres’ is a hoax

Juventus forward is currently in self-isolation in Madeira after a teammate was diagnosed with coronavirus, but has no plans to transform his chain of hotels into treatment centres

Coronavirus: How has sport been affected?

A social media post claiming that Cristiano Ronaldo had transformed his chain of hotels into coronavirus treatment centres has been proved a hoax, despite being shared tens of thousands of times.

The Juventus and Portugal football player co-owns the Pestana CR7 Hotels with the Pestana Hotel Group, with locations including Lisbon and Funchal.

A claim initially made by sports presenter Adriano Del Monte suggested that Ronaldo would allow those suffering from Covid-19 to be treated in his hotels while paying the wages of medical staff to look after them, which was retweeted more than 1.700 times and picked up by various other social media accounts.

The tweet read: “Cristiano Ronaldo’s @PestanaCR7 hotels will become hospitals next week, where patients in Portugal will be treated free of charge. He will pay all medical staff. #COVID19. What a man.”

The report was repeated by various other accounts in Portuguese, English, French and Russian, with the story going viral despite no statement from the player himself or the hotel group.

It has now been proved to be false, with a Pestana Hotel spokesperson confirming to AFP Fact Check: “The information is inaccurate. We did not receive any indication in this regard.”

When contacted directly by Dutch outlet RTL Nieuws, the Lisbon branch said: “We are a hotel. We are not going to be a hospital. It is a day like everyone else, we are and will remain a hotel.”

The seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak would mean that taking such rash action like converting a hotel into a makeshift treatment centre would go against the advice being distributed by the World Health Organisation, given it would locate several infected people in an un-quarantined area that would not have the required equipment to treat patients.

Ronaldo himself has been back home in Madeira in self-isolation after Juventus teammate Daniele Rugani contracted coronavirus, and the 35-year-old posted a message on Instagram on Saturday urging people to follow the medical advice they are given.

“The world is going through a very difficult moment which demands the utmost care and attention from all of us.

“I speak to you today not as a football player, but as a son, father, a human being concerned with the latest developments that is affecting the whole world.

“It is important we all follow the advice of WHO (World Health Organisation) and the governing bodies on how we handle this current situation.

“Protecting human life must come above any other interests. I would like to send my thoughts to everyone who has lost someone close to them, my solidarity to those who are fighting the virus, like my teammate Daniele Rugani, and my continued support to the amazing health professionals putting their own lives at risk to help save others.”

According to the WHO’s latest report issued on Monday, 6,606 people have died from coronavirus-related illness with more than 167,511 confirmed cases.

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