DOZENS of tourists are being tested for the coronavirus while being held at the H10 hotel in Tenerife.
Some 1,000 holidaymakers are being held at the resort under police custody after an Italian doctor who was staying there tested positive for the disease.
The doctor, who had been visiting for a week with his wife, has been taken to the Hospital Nuestra Senora de Candelaria.
Meanwhile, extra samples taken from the tourist have been sent to the microbiology centre in Madrid.
The man had walked into a health centre on the island and told health professionals there that he feared he had the virus, which has been spreading around the world since its outbreak in Wuhan, China, in December last year.
He told staff that he did not believe he had been in contact with someone who had the virus, however.
The Ministry of Health has activated a free telephone line for those with concerns, questions or information on a possible new infection (900 112 061).
t comes as Italy is in a race against time to control its coronavirus outbreak after becoming the worst hit in Europe.
Seven people have now died and around 230 have tested positive.
In Lombardy, the worst-hit region, doctors have been experimenting with HIV drugs to treat patients.
Dr Raffaele Bruno told Diario Sur how he has been using the antiretroviral drug Lovipanir at the San Matteo hospital in Pavia.
“There is no specific cure for coronavirus because it is a new virus that suddenly passed from one animal to another,” he told the Spanish newspaper, “We are using experimental therapies.”
He added that HIV drugs have saved the lives of several patients.
“We give it twice a day, like Ribavirin, an old antiviral used for the flu,” he added.
“At the moment we have to be satisfied with the preliminary results, which are encouraging.”
The doctor urged people to remember that the virus is only severe in 15% of cases, particularly in elderly patients or those with weakened immune systems.