More than 400 care homes in Scotland investigated over Covid-19 deaths
Pretoria - A special unit set up to probe deaths in care homes linked to Covid-19 is investigating 474 such places in Scotland, the BBC reported on Friday.
In a story on its website, the public broadcaster said the unit, Crown Office, which was set up in May, had received a total of 1 905 death reports by the end of December, 1 553 of them relating to care homes.
After the investigation, prosecutors will eventually decide if the deaths should be the subject of a fatal accident inquiry or prosecution.
Donald Macaskill, the chief executive of Scottish Care which represents independent care homes, told the BBC that the timing of the probe was weighing on the sector.
"Frontline staff and managers are spending huge amounts of time providing data and information for these investigations,“ he said.
“This would be challenging at the best of times but in the middle of a pandemic and with dozens of care homes fighting active outbreaks this has added to a real sense of exhaustion, dismay and disappointment.”
Macaskill added that the investigations “are wholly disproportionate and are causing irreparable damage to the professional integrity of nurses and carers who are exhausted beyond measure in fighting the virus”.
According to the Guardian newspaper, in April, care homes for the elderly across much of Europe and North America were struggling to cope with the pandemic, prompting allegations of inhumane treatment and calls for high-level enquiries.
In Spain, the army reported finding dead and abandoned people in their beds after it was drafted in to help disinfect care centres.
In France almost a third of all coronavirus deaths have been of residents in care home, news agency Reuters reported.
The Red Cross said across Germany, care homes were suffering from a lack of protective clothing and disinfectant, which was contributing to the spread of the virus.
African News Agency (ANA)