Madrid, Jun 23 (efe-epa).- There have been almost 17,000 Covid-19 deaths in Spain’s care homes, according to official regional data.
It is expected that this figure would increase if suspected but undiagnosed cases were also included, which most regional administrations do not add to the figure.
This has been a controversial issue between the national executive and some regional authorities with bitter reproaches and frequent accusations over political responsibility for the deaths and why seriously ill elderly people were not always transferred to hospitals.
The central government has not provided a national figure on fatalities in care homes, instead instructing regions to give weekly reports on the situation.
Health minister Salvador Illa has recognized that these centers were one of the main sites of transmission of the coronavirus in Spain.
Both regional authorities and the prosecutor’s office have launched investigations into the situation in residential facilities for the elderly.
There have been a total of 16,937 deaths in nursing homes, representing around 39 percent of 42,542 fatalities recorded, according to regional data collated by Efe.
This figure is a lot higher than 28,324, the official total from the health ministry, which only includes cases that had previously tested positive for the virus.
Anyone who was infected and died without being tested would not be included in the official figure, for example deaths in private houses or care homes.
There were more than 43,000 excess deaths during the pandemic, according to Spain’s Mortality Monitoring System (Sistema de Monitorización de la Mortalidad diaria or MoMo).