‘Residents in long-term care facilities account for up to half of coronavirus-related deaths in Europe, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.
Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, said there was a “deeply concerning picture” emerging of the impact Covid-19 is having on those in care.
He told a press conference on Thursday that the way some care facilities operate is “providing pathways” for the virus to spread within the population.
Dr Kluge 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.”
Asked how many of Europe’s care home deaths were from the UK, Dr Catherine Smallwood told the briefing the WHO has not yet been provided with the latest up-to-date figures.
The sentiments echoed those shared by the Government’s Chief Medical Officer, professor Chris Whitty, who said he was “sure we will see a high mortality rate sadly in care homes, because this is a very, very vulnerable group”.
He told reporters on Wednesday that the 826 deaths reported in England and Wales by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the week ending April 10 were “an underestimate”.’