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Study suggests half of COVID-19 deaths occur in care homes

Around half of all coronavirus-related deaths have occurred in care homes, according to an international study. 

The study for the International Long-Term Care Policy Network examines data from five European countries and suggest that care home residents have so far accounted for between 42% and 57% of all deaths related to COVID-19.

According to the study, the most recent report by the Belgian Ministry of Health (11 April) shows there had been 3,346 COVID-19 deaths, of which 1,405 (42%) were in care homes for older people.

It adds that 90% of Belgian care homes are reported to have had at least one case of COVID-19.

The most recent numbers published by the Ministry of Health in France (11 April) declared a total of 13,832 deaths as a result of COVID-19, of which 6,177 (44.6%) were residents in care homes.

The Republic of Ireland has registered 6,444 cases of COVID-19 and 288 deaths, of which 156 (54%) were care home residents. 

According to the study, the total number of care home places is 31,000, so the rate of mortality would be 0.5%. 

The report also states that as of the 7 April, Ireland had identified a total of 317 clusters of COVID-19, of which 109 (54%) were in care homes (9).

It comes as concern is growing in the UK at the number of coronavirus-related deaths in the UK. 

Speaking on Easter Sunday (April 12), the Scottish health secretary, Jeane Freeman said more than 400 care homes have recorded cases or potential cases of COVID-19.

‘The Care Inspectorate have had reports of COVID, or suspected COVID cases from 406 adult care homes,” said Ms Freeman.

‘That’s 37% of the total number of care homes in Scotland.

‘We are looking to ensure that the information on the number of cases from that number of care homes is as robust as we can possibly make it, as accurate as we can be sure of, before we release that later this week,’ she added. 

The complete study by the Long-Term Care Policy Network is available to read here. 

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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