The judicial case opened in Tremp (Lleida) is on its way to being the first in Spain to seat those responsible for a nursing home on the bench for mismanagement of the coronavirus. The first witnesses who have appeared before the judge investigating the former director of the Fiella residence and her former head of sanitary hygiene for reckless homicide have corroborated the “total lack of control” that the center experienced in the outbreak of the disease that claimed 64 lives of the elderly in November 2020.
The prosecutor denounces the Tremp residence for reckless homicide, where 64 elderly people died
This was explained at the exit of the court by the lawyer representing one of the affected families, Xavier Prats. This Thursday, two Mossos d’Esquadra agents who took charge of the investigation testified before the judge as witnesses; the then manager of Health in the Lleida and Alt Pirineu and Aran health regions, Divina Farreny; and the director who was in charge of the center when it was intervened by the Generalitat, Elena Badia.
The witnesses have corroborated, according to Prats, the prosecutor’s account in his complaint, where it is pointed out that the deaths occurred “due to the lack of foresight, control and supervision of the management” of the residence. The residence was not divided into sectors to isolate the positives, there was no communication with nearby medical centers and the “minimum and basic hygiene measures” were not followed. The mess was such that there are even records of temperature taking records for deceased elderly people.
Despite overcoming the first wave with hardly any infections, as of November 19, 2020, the residence of this municipality of less than 6,000 inhabitants in the Pallars Jussà region (Lleida), became a black hole where 64 elderly people died, which which represents 1% of the population of Tremp. 42 of the 65 workers at the center were also infected. The outbreak was one of the most serious recorded in Spain throughout the different phases of the pandemic.
“The contingency plan against COVID-19 was unknown, there were no lists of residents or staff or training since March 2020, and that an outpatient worker offered to do it and was told no,” he asserted. the lawyer Prats in statements to the media. On his side, the defense lawyer, Lluís Salas, has argued that “the exceptional nature of what happened was uncontrollable” and that both his client and “many other people tried to avoid the outcome.”
The statements this Thursday are part of the open case against the two former heads of the center for reckless homicide and degrading treatment. The same court investigates in another case against the same defendants a crime against safety at work due to the lack of protective equipment for the workers of the residence. A total of 49 employees will appear as witnesses on April 4, 5, 8, 19 and 26. The judge has not yet summoned the investigated to testify.