Friday, July 12, 2024
 
 

Italian doctors warn of 'bio bombs' from patients sent to care homes

EPA-EFE/Igor Petyx
A view of the town of Villafrati, near Palermo, Sicily island, Italy, 24 March 2020. Some 69 people including client and staff have tested positive for the coronavirus in a care home in Villafrati, and one person, a 90-year-old man, has died. The town was declared a red zone.

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Italian doctors have warned that the government’s policy to send patients discharged from hospital but still positive for coronavirus to care homes is like priming “biological bombs”.
The number of confirmed cases around the world is now nearing 860,000, with more than 42,000 deaths. Italy remains the worst affected country in the world with 105,792 cases and 12,428 deaths.
In Italy, over 28,000 people are in hospital including more than 4,000 in intensive care. Those unable to recover in isolation at home are being moved to care homes or requisitioned hotels.
Experts have voiced serious concerns over the safety of the 300,000 or so residents in Italy’s 7,000 care homes.
“In a war like this, we can’t expose ourselves to the danger of a recurrence of new outbreaks that risk turning care homes into ‘biological bombs’ that spread the virus”, the head of Italy’s geriatric society SIGG said, and added:
“Widely using care home beds to ease pressure on hospitals would put the elderly residents at risk, and they are the weakest link in this pandemic”.
Italy’s national health institute said 86% of care homes surveyed reported difficulties getting hold of protective equipment, while 36% said they were struggling due to staff off sick.

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