The standard Spanish protocol followed by nursing homes is to store the dead bodies of the residents in cold storage until collected by the funeral service. Now, they are left on their beds, until officials who are equipped to handle the bodies come to remove them.
Elderly residents of some care homes were found “completely abandoned” by the Spanish Military and some were even “dead in their beds”, said the Defense Minister, Margarita Robles on Monday in an interview, according to NPR. The exact number of dead bodies found was not revealed by Robles. Spain is the second hardest-hit country in Europe by the novel COVID-19 with more than 39,000 confirmed cases and 2,800 deaths according to reports as of Tuesday. The dead bodies and abandoned residents were found by the Spanish soldiers while disinfecting and providing emergency health care services to residential homes across the country.
Spanish soldiers have found older residents in some nursing homes across the country "completely abandoned" and living in squalor among the infectious bodies of people who authorities suspect died from the coronavirus.https://t.co/4rs1rTn4gv— NPR (@NPR) March 24, 2020
514 people were reported to be dead in a 24-hour time period in one of the worst increase since the outbreak of the virus, on Tuesday. Several retirement homes were highly affected due to the outbreak. 20 deaths and 75 confirmed cases were reported last week at a private residence in Madrid, as they were not equipped with the necessary materials to take care of the dead bodies and the sick residents. The standard Spanish protocol followed by nursing homes is to store the dead bodies of the residents in cold storage until collected by the funeral service. Now, they are left on their beds, until officials who are properly equipped to handle the bodies come to remove them.
Yet u people never appreciate the USA & how good we have it here compared to other countries. Not perfect but much better— ZS (@S3113Zs) March 24, 2020
Numerous staff has abandoned nursing homes after the detection of COVID-19 cases to take care of themselves, ignoring the sick and residents who were in serious conditions, said the Defense Minister in the interview. "We will be completely relentless and forceful with the kind of treatment elderly residents receive in these centers," Robles said. "I know that a vast majority [of centers] are fulfilling their obligations." Robles also stated that strict actions will be taken against staff who are responsible for this. Health Minister Salvador Illa said residential care homes are "a high priority during this time" for the Spanish government, and it will exert "maximum control" over these centers.
It sort of did happen here. I'm rememering how nursing homes were residents were left on their own when the buildings flooded to the second floor in the Rockaways after #SuperstormSandy.— Escondida (@EscondidaSay) March 24, 2020
Spain has one of the longest life expectancies in the world, with an elderly (65+) population of around 19% of the population. An investigation of the incident was launched by the Spanish prosecutors. Pedro Sánchez, Spanish Prime Minister has called to make all privately-owned nursing homes nationalized, similar to his previous nationalization of the private hospitals. This was done to ensure that these places are provided with better access to sufficient staff and adequate equipment. The Defense Ministry of Spain assessed the health of seniors who live alone or who are in vulnerable situations by making thousands of phone calls over the weekend.
Abandoning the most frail, is simply cowardliness. Seniors people who have paid the price of this war. Are we our brothers keeper. Are we self absorbed. Are we doing all we can for others? What does it take to have heart and soul. @realDonaldTrump @cdc @NewYorkTimesBen #life— Eye Sent Writing & Photography (@eyesentphoto) March 24, 2020
A lot of people were saddened by this news. Vicki Riley-Poellot wrote: Saddest thing I’ve heard yet. So glad my Mom does not have to go through this & my Dad is next door. It’s scary & we all have our own little worlds to worry about, but please, help those that cannot help themselves. Dianne Jac shared: Why couldn't they have at least notified the authorities or their military and say that they could no longer care for these beautiful souls. It's absolutely heartbreaking how inhumane people are becoming across the globe. God bless each fragile soul that is suffering. Bryan Murphy posted: I'm really worried this is going to happen in America. Our nursing homes are woefully understaffed and underprepared.
Okay, this is beyond heartbreaking and horrific. I hope those responsible for abandoning the most vunerable in society see justice visited upon them.— M. AR Sanders (@oregonsandstorm) March 24, 2020
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