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.