Spain: Army Has Found Elderly Abandoned, Dead at Care Homes

  • Spain: Army Has Found Elderly Abandoned, Dead at Care Homes

Spain: Army Has Found Elderly Abandoned, Dead at Care Homes

The repurposing of the space will be coordinated by Madrid's regional government and military emergency units, which have been deployed across Spain over the past week to help deal with the coronavirus crisis.

Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles has said the country's army has discovered elderly people that were "absolutely abandoned" and "lying dead in their beds" in nursing homes.

Prosecutors will decide if there are charges of negligence to be answered to.

An investigation into the incidents has been launched and the general prosecutor in Spain has been notified.

Spain is the worst affected country in Europe after Italy, which has recorded more than 6,000 deaths so far.

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According to the tally by global news agency, the pandemic has now spread to 195 countries and has infected at least 381,761 people.

During an appearance on Telecinco's The Ana Rosa Program, she said soldiers found some residents "completely left to fend for themselves, or even dead, in their beds".

The rising death toll in Spain has placed a strain on both the medical facilities in the country and the funeral homes around Madrid.

In Madrid, mortuaries are so full that authorities have been forced to store bodies in an ice rink. But under new procedures, where the cause of death is suspected to be coronavirus-linked, care workers have been instructed to leave the bodies for collection by properly-equipped funeral staff, according to the BBC. "It may be the case that this has happened".

Luis Seoane's 89-year-old father, also named Luis, is in hospital in Madrid, suffering from coronavirus. "A person died in our arms because we couldn't get hold of oxygen". "This is out of control", he told Al Jazeera.

Retirement homes are "an absolute priority for the government", Health Minister Salvador Illa told a press conference.

"We will exercise the most intensive monitoring of these centres", she added. The state guaranteed around 80 per cent of unpaid loans owed by small- to medium-sized companies and self-employed workers, and released an initial tranche of 20 billion euros. But given the upsurge in deaths the delay can be lengthy.

Nursing union SATSE said Madrid's hospitals were on "the verge of collapse" and needed urgent support, while a doctors' union said it had filed a lawsuit demanding protective equipment within 24 hours.

While cases were mostly concentrated in Madrid, Catalonia and the Basque Country, infection numbers are growing in other regions.