Spain’s Supreme Court docket orders Reuters to research COVID-19 deaths in nursing residence

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Elderly people are loved through the glass front of the nursing home as COVID rises

MADRID (Reuters) – The Spanish Supreme Court on Friday ordered an investigation into the deaths of elderly people in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of protective equipment for health workers.

Judges were asked to determine whether deaths in nursing homes “were related to political, administrative or management decisions and whether those decisions are criminally accusatory”.

Spain was one of the countries in Europe hardest hit by both the disease and the economic impact of the pandemic. A total of 48,777 people have died from the coronavirus, with the toll increasing by 181 in the last 24 hours.

More than 20,000 people died of COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 in care homes in Spain during the first wave of coronavirus. This is based on preliminary official data reported by El Pais newspaper and RTVE broadcaster.

The Supreme Court also urged the lower courts to investigate the possible misuse of public funds to purchase faulty or fraudulent equipment to fight the pandemic.

However, she turned down about 50 cases specifically targeted by the government to fight the pandemic, arguing that the complaints were not detailed enough to indict senior officials.

“We cannot rely on collective outrage over the tragedy we are still involved in and legitimate disagreements with government decisions that some consider ill-advised,” the Supreme Court said, adding that such cases were only addressed directly would if senior officials are involved.

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