Elderly abandoned by some in Spain based on the coronavirus crisis: EU failings

Elderly abandoned by some in Spain based on the coronavirus crisis: EU failings

Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Reports coming out of Spain are indicating that some elderly people are being abandoned and left to die. If this is the case, then the central government must step up and protect the most vulnerable in society.

In some reports, the armed forces of Spain have found harrowing scenes awaiting them when visiting retirement homes. This applies to frightened elderly citizens who have been abandoned, while others have been found dead. Thus, one can only imagine the fear of frail elderly citizens who are still alive, to the utter shock of the armed forces that have witnessed such harrowing events.

The coronavirus crisis is also witnessing the ineffectiveness of the European Union (EU). After all, no strategy is being enforced to help nations that have been badly hit by the coronavirus crisis (Covid-19).

Equally important, the EU prides itself on welcoming millions of refugees and migrants. However, in Italy and Spain reports are stressing the infringement of the rights of the elderly in the worse highlighted cases.

Indeed, it is known that China, Cuba, and the Russian Federation have responded to Italy’s hour of need by providing medical assistance. Yet, the EU, outside of the economic angle, seems self-centered and aloof of the situation in Italy and Spain.

EL PAIS reports, Many seniors have fallen ill in care homes without ambulances taking them to hospitals. Some family members have said that their parents or grandparents are being left to die because they are considered lost causes, as they have prior medical conditions or are of an advanced age.”

Similarly, the BBC reports, Spanish soldiers helping to fight the coronavirus pandemic have found elderly patients in retirement homes abandoned and, in some cases, dead in their beds, the defense ministry has said.”

It seems that action to protect the most vulnerable in retirement homes will be forthcoming. This is based on the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, stating the central government is “going to be strict and inflexible when dealing with the way older people are treated.”

The Defense Minister also confirmed that the armed forces had witnessed harrowing scenes. She uttered, “The army, during certain visits, found some older people completely abandoned, sometimes even dead in their beds.”

The EU took in untold numbers of refugees and migrants over many decades and provided economic support. Yet, in the hour of need, the EU seems to be abandoning Italy and Spain. This notably relates to medical support during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Likewise, the European Court of Human Rights doesn’t seem to be helping the abandoned elderly of Spain. Thus, the sight of China, Cuba, and the Russian Federation helping Italy – to confirmed reports of the elderly being abandoned in Spain – is the stark reality of the failure of the EU.

https://english.elpais.com/society/2020-03-20/coronavirus-crisis-in-madrids-senior-homes-if-he-gets-infected-no-one-will-do-anything-to-help-him.html

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-52014023

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