Saturday, May 28

Workers from the Tremp residence tell the judge that there were elderly people “asking for help in the corridor”

Workers at the Fiella de Tremp residence (Lleida) where 64 elderly people died in an outbreak of coronavirus in November 2020 have assured the judge that they felt “alone” during the crisis and have reported that “there were residents asking for help in the corridor”. This was explained at the exit of the court by the lawyer Xavier Prats, lawyer for relatives of one of the deceased.

How the Tremp residence became a black hole where 60 elderly people died

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The Tremp court is investigating the former director and the former head of sanitary hygiene at the center for reckless homicide in the death of the elderly and, in a different cause, a crime against safety at work for not providing adequate protection equipment to the employees of the residence. The workers have begun to appear as witnesses and, according to Prats, have reported the situation as “chaos”: they did not know who was working and who was not, they did not receive any type of training and nobody knew about the contingency plans.

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 workers have appeared before the judge with a legal obligation to tell the truth and have explained that the management of the center did not provide them with PPE and only gave them one mask a week despite the fact that in the second wave of the pandemic there were no longer the problems of supply lived during confinement in March 2020.

This investigation aims to clarify if during the outbreak of November 2020, the necessary protective equipment was available to work safely, something that the employees have completely denied.

Among the many irregularities described by the Prosecutor’s Office in its complaint and confirmed by witnesses, they highlight that users were deprived of proper medical assistance and that there was also no coordination with the closest medical centers. It happened, for example, that dinners were not served to residents until after midnight and it is also noted that on those days many were cold, hungry and thirsty, the complaint collects. The chaos was such that temperature records or medication supply charts were recorded for users who had been deceased for days.

The statements this Friday are part of the open case against the two former managers of the center for a crime against safety at work due to the lack of protective equipment for the workers of the residence. The same court investigates in another case against the same defendants the crimes of reckless homicide and degrading treatment of the elderly. A total of 49 employees will appear as witnesses throughout the month of April. The judge has not yet summoned the investigated to testify.