Spanish army finds care home residents dead in their beds

Spanish soldiers helping to fight the coronavirus pandemic have found elderly patients in retirement homes abandoned and, in some cases, dead in their beds, according to the defence ministry. The military has been brought in to help disinfect care homes in the country. Spanish prosecutors have already launched an investigation.

Spanish Defence Minister Margarita Robles said that the government was "going to be strict and inflexible when dealing with the way older people are treated" in retirement homes. "The army, during certain visits, found some older people completely abandoned, sometimes even dead in their beds," she pointed out. The defence ministry said that staff at some care homes had left after the coronavirus was detected.

Health officials have said that in normal circumstances the bodies of deceased residents are put in cold storage until they are collected by the funeral services. But when the cause of death is suspected to be linked to coronavirus they are left in their beds until they can be retrieved by properly equipped funeral staff. In the capital Madrid, which has seen the highest number of cases and deaths, that could take up to 24 hours, officials said.

On Monday Spain recorded its highest daily death toll - 462 - bringing the total to 2,182.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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