Belgium approves more money for care homes hit by pandemic

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgium’s northern region of Flanders approved 575 million euros ($680 million) Tuesday to support staff at nursing home and welfare facilities that has come under intense pressure during the coronavirus crisis.

During the first wave of the pandemic during the spring and again now, care homes have been centers of infections and deaths. Over the past several weeks, staff levels in several homes have dropped to a minimum because infected nurses and others have had to quarantine after contracting the virus. The army has had to reinforce staff in some cases to manage essential care.

The overall neglect has been that bad that Amnesty International said last week that authorities “abandoned” thousands of elderly who died in nursing homes during the first spring surge of the pandemic. The majority of deaths occurred in care facilities during the first wave while that has switched to deaths in hospitals

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Nursing home covid cases propel Belgium to one of the world’s worst death rates. Again.

Nursing home personnel lament that they are being sidelined again, while policymakers focus on protecting the hospital system from being overwhelmed. But as in the spring, more nursing home residents are dying than any other segment of society.

“The same as in the first wave, nursing homes are not being taken so seriously and not getting the priority,” said Mit Philips, an official in the Belgian office of Doctors Without Borders — which usually operates in poor societies beset by conflict and crisis but was called in to advise Belgian nursing homes through the pandemic.

Belgium has reported more coronavirus deaths per capita this year than any other nation. Over the past week, it averaged 17.4 daily deaths per million residents — that’s five times worse than the United States, which averaged 3.5 deaths per million.

Belgian policymakers say that comparisons can be misleading, that their calculations are more complete

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Report: Belgium nursing homes failed patients amid pandemic

Amnesty International said Belgium authorities “abandoned” thousands of elderly people who died in nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic in a report Monday that described those actions as “human rights violations.”

One of the hardest-hit countries in Europe, Belgium has reported more than 531,000 confirmed virus cases and more than 14,400 deaths linked to the coronavirus. During the first wave of the pandemic last spring, the European nation of 11.5 million people recorded a majority of its COVID-19-related deaths in nursing homes.

Between March and October, Amnesty International said “a staggering” 61.3% of

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Care homes policies violated human rights in Belgium

BRUSSELS (AP) — Amnesty International said Belgium authorities “abandoned” thousands of elderly people who died in nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic following an investigation published Monday going through a series of inadequacies described by the group as “human rights violations.”

One of the hardest-hit countries in Europe, Belgium has reported more than 531,000 confirmed virus cases and more than 14,000 deaths linked to the coronavirus. During the first wave of the pandemic last spring, the country of 11.5 million people recorded a majority of its COVID-19-related deaths in care homes.

Between March and October, Amnesty International said “a staggering” 61.3% of all COVID-19 deaths in Belgium took place in care homes. The group said authorities weren’t quick enough in implementing measures to protect care home residents and staff during this period, hence failing to protect their human rights.

Amnesty International said one of the reasons so many people died

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