Half of all coronavirus deaths in Europe were people in care homes, WHO confirms

HALF of all coronavirus deaths in Europe were people living in care homes, the World Health Organisation has revealed.

Hans Kluge, the body's regional director for Europe, said there was now a "deeply concerning picture" emerging of the impact Covid-19 is having on those in care.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

He told reporters today the way some care facilities operate is "providing pathways" for the virus to spread within the population.

Dr Kluge said: "According to estimates from countries in the European region, up to half of those who have died from Covid-19 were resident in long-term care facilities.

"This is an unimaginable human tragedy."

Asked how many of Europe's care home deaths were from the UK, Dr Catherine Smallwood told the briefing the WHO has not yet been provided with the latest up-to-date figures.

The sentiments echoed those shared by the Government's Chief Medical Officer, professor Chris Whitty, who said he was "sure we will see a high mortality rate sadly in care homes, because this is a very, very vulnerable group".

He told reporters on Wednesday that the 826 deaths reported in England and Wales by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the week ending April 10 were "an underestimate".

These latest figures bring the total number of Covid-19 care home deaths since the start of the outbreak to 1,043.

Care home bosses have already expressed concerns over acquiring personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing.

One told the PA news agency that some types of equipment are up to 24 times more expensive than they were before the pandemic.

Dr Kluge said that PPE should be provided adding testing of any suspected cases in care facilities should be "prioritised".

He said that staff working in care homes need to start being paid "appropriately", as they are "often overstretched, underpaid and unprotected".

Dr Kluge also told the briefing that 50 per cent of the world's Covid-19 cases – over 1.2 million – have been recorded in Europe and more than 110,000 people have died.

The news comes as the Government is trying to recruit thousands more people to work in social care as the sector faces ongoing pressures due to the pandemic.

The 'care for others make a difference' campaign will encourage care providers to list vacancies on new website www.everydayisdifferent.com.

Job sites including Indeed and Monster have also offered to help fill the vacancies.

The Sun Online reported how a care home “massacre” was being probed by the Italian police after 190 people died amid claims staff were banned from wearing masks.

The Pio Albergo Trivulzio nursing home in Milan – the largest facility of its kind in Italy – is reportedly under investigation.

The deaths have been branded a “massacre” amid the coronavirus pandemic – which has already claimed tens of thousands of lives in Italy.

Source: Read Full Article