The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted many problems in our society. This was the case in Belgium where retirement homes and their residents have been abandoned by those who usually take care of them. Such a phenomenon goes against human rights.
Retirees abandoned and deprived of hospitalization in the event of Covid-19 infection
In a new report, Amnesty International said Belgian authorities abandoned thousands of elderly people who died in nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic. The organization also noted that many elderly people who contracted Covid-19 in nursing homes have not been hospitalized. ” The results of our investigation allow us to affirm that the MR / MRS and their residents were abandoned by our authorities, and this, until this tragedy was publicly denounced and the worst of the first phase of the pandemic was past », Declared Philippe Hensmans, director of Amnesty International Belgium, in a press release.
The report thus concluded that the human rights of many residents have been violated. It is important to know that Belgium was one of the countries most affected by the pandemic. During the first wave, there were 531,000 cases of Covid-19 infection and 14,400 deaths linked to the disease. According to Amnesty International data, more than 60% of these deaths were recorded in retirement homes and other establishments specializing in the elderly, reported Associated Press. If so many people have died in retirement homes, it is because they have not been transferred to hospitals.
Indeed, the Belgian authorities have chosen to put their efforts on the protection of hospitals, thus neglecting the most vulnerable people in the face of Covid-19. Amnesty International was not the only one to be shocked by this handling of the pandemic by Belgium. Doctors Without Borders also raised the issue. The organization even had to mobilize to help residents of retirement homes. The families of the residents, the caregivers who stayed and the press also denounced this cruel situation.
They gave more details on the problem, including the lack of funding and equipment, the refusal of hospitals to admit the elderly, and restrictions on visits. If this last point is controversial, it is of great importance in Belgium insofar as caregivers are no longer able to take care of these residents and these informal helpers make it possible to ensure daily well-being. residents, especially with regard to food and hygiene, has explained West France.
In all, Amnesty International gathered more than 50 testimonies incriminating the Belgian government to write its report. In addition, we also denounce a too late reaction of the Belgian authorities. They did not start taking action until the problem was made public. By this time, the worst of the first wave had already passed. After the publication of the document, more people sent their testimonies to the organization, denouncing the fact that the living conditions of the residents of the retirement homes have hardly improved, reported RFI.