Coronavirus pandemic

Nursing homes vulnerable around the world

Nursing homes have emerged as global hotbeds for coronavirus cases, accounting for half of some countries' death tolls. Here are some countries that have seen outbreaks in their elderly care facilities.

A fireman transports an elderly person to a nursing home in Mougins, France, on April 3, 2020.
A fireman transports an elderly person to a nursing home in Mougins, France, on April 3, 2020.PHOTO: EPA-EFE


France started systematically reporting coronavirus cases in its nursing homes after fatalities in these places were found to make up over a third of the nation's Covid-19 death toll. It has about 7,000 nursing homes, housing some 600,000 elderly people.


Almost half of all of Canada's coronavirus deaths are linked to long-term care facilities, the health authorities said. A single elderly care home in Montreal, Quebec, has recorded at least 31 deaths from Covid-19 since March 13, Reuters reported. The deaths at the 139-unit Residence Herron are being probed, the authorities said.


In Belgium, nursing home residents account for nearly half of the country's coronavirus death toll. "Forty per cent of the deaths reported so far concern nursing homes or residential care centres," Dr Emmanuel Andre of the government's coronavirus advisory team was cited as saying in The Brussels Times yesterday.


In the US, at least 2,300 long-term care facilities in 37 states have reported coronavirus cases, according to data compiled by USA Today on Monday. Over 3,000 residents have died.

In Virginia's Henrico County, 42 nursing home residents have died in one of the US' worst clusters, with more deaths expected, Reuters reported. Of Virginia's 97 known cases, 53 are in long-term care facilities, state health officials said.


Many elderly care facilities in Japan have also reported cluster infections. A day service centre in Hiroshima confirmed 20 cases among its residents over the weekend, the Asahi Shimbun reported on Monday.

In South Korea, an outbreak at a nursing home in its hardest-hit city of Daegu contributed to a jump in cases last month. More than 70 patients at the home tested positive, the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said in mid-March.


Dozens of coronavirus deaths were reported in two nursing homes in Madrid, Spain, earlier this month.

In Naples, Italy, many residents in a care home were hospitalised after an outbreak claimed several lives there, the BBC reported.

In Stockholm, Sweden, cases have surfaced at some 100 nursing facilities, with local broadcaster SVT reporting that more than 400 people were infected and about 50 had died.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 15, 2020, with the headline 'Nursing homes vulnerable around the world'. Subscribe