About 95% of Covid-19 deaths in elderly care homes haven’t been diagnosed, yet Belgium makes the decision to register them based on the symptoms shown and who the people have been in contact with. The goal is to get a clearer picture of the outbreak and better target hot spots.
In Belgium, just over 300 people normally die every day, but this year, it’s jumped to nearly 600.
According to Belgian officials, the reason for the grisly figures isn’t overwhelmed hospitals -- 43% of intensive-care beds were vacant even at the peak of the crisis -- but the country’s bureaucratic rigor.
When the country reported data from some nursing homes for the first time in early April, those fatalities were almost double the number of people that died in hospitals.
Last week, Spain had to adjust its historical data after Catalonia started including people who had symptoms but didn’t test positive. This week a local radio broadcaster reported that more than 6,800 elderly died in Spanish nursing homes with symptoms but weren’t recorded in official data.