Half Of COVID-19 Deaths In Europe Were In Care Homes, WHO Reveals

by GoNews Desk 4 years ago Views 2117

Half Of COVID-19 Deaths In Europe Were In Care Hom
The World Health Organisation has revealed a ‘deeply concerning’ estimate that as many as half of the coronavirus deaths in Europe were residents in long-term care facilities.

"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." WHO Europe Director Dr Hans Kluge said in a press briefing on Thursday.

He said: "Those dying in homes from COVID-19 have the right to be attended to and to receive end of life care including symptom relief with adequate medication surrounded by their loved ones".

This pandemic has shone a spotlight on the overlooked and undervalued corners of our society. Across the European Region, long-term care has often been notoriously neglected. But it should not be this way. Looking to the future, transitioning to a new normal, we have a clear investment case for setting up integrated, person-centred long-term care systems in each country, he added.

The Director said "people who are suffering from physical and/ or mental disability, often at higher ages are particularly vulnerable to this virus. Their advanced age, underlying health conditions, cognitive challenges in understanding and following health and hygiene advice due to intellectual disability or dementia, for example, are all factors that put them at greater risk.

Many today are prevented from receiving visits from family and friends, no longer getting the emotional and physical support that such visits provide. Sometimes residents face the threat of abuse and neglect.

And yet equally troubling – the way that such care facilities operate, how residents receive care – is providing pathways for the virus to spread. The role of the public sector leaving no one behind cannot be overestimated.

Even among very old people who are frail and live with multiple chronic conditions – many have a good chance of recovery if they are well-cared for.

More than 110,000 people have died in Europe from coronavirus, with deaths increasing by a third in the last seven days.

Watch Statement o the press by Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe:

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