Madrid .- Hundreds of people were confined to their rooms at a Tenerife hotel on Tuesday after an Italian tourist was hospitalised with a suspected case of coronavirus, health officials in the Canary Islands said.

“Hundreds of hotel clients are being monitored for health reasons and the degree of supervision will be assessed during the day, but so far, we’re not talking about quarantine,” health authority spokeswoman Veronica Martin said, confirming that the Italian tourist “was staying at this hotel while on holiday in Tenerife”.

The archipelago’s health authorities announced late on Monday that an Italian man had tested positive for coronavirus and was being kept in isolation while his results undergo a second analysis in Madrid as required by Spain’s protocol for suspected cases of the disease.

A British guest at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel where the Italian man was staying who did not want to be named said over telephone that he and other guests had received a notice telling them to stay in their rooms.

“We regret to inform you that for health reasons, the hotel has been closed down. You must remain in your rooms until the health authorities say so,” said the text in Spanish, English, French, Italian and German.

The management could not be reached for comment.

According to its website, the hotel has 467 rooms, four outdoor pools as well as two jacuzzis.

The scare came as hotels across the Canary Islands were packed with guests who had flown in for the traditional February carnival festivities. AFP