Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Science & Tech
  2. Coronavirus
23 April 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Up to half of Covid-19 deaths in Europe occur in care homes, WHO says

By Samuel Horti

As many as half of all coronavirus-related deaths in Europe have happened in care homes, the World Health Organisation’s regional director for Europe has 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,” Dr Hans Kluge told a press conference today.

He called on governments to do more to provide end of life care to those in greatest need, and to provide personal protective equipment to “overstretched, underpaid and unprotected” staff.

The estimate is far higher than official figures from the UK, which many believe undercount deaths in care homes. The latest figures from England and Wales show that roughly 16 per cent of Covid-19 deaths have happened in care homes, while in Scotland, care homes have accounted for a quarter of coronavirus deaths.


Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
Is your business ready for corporate climate reporting?
How do we secure the hybrid office?
How materials innovation can help achieve net zero and level-up the UK