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AFP
July 8, 2020

Outrage at British PM comments on care homes

World

AFP
July 8, 2020

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was accused Tuesday of trying to rewrite history for appearing to blame the deadly spread of coronavirus in care homes on the institutions themselves.

Britain has suffered the worst death toll in Europe from the outbreak, with more than 44,000 confirmed deaths, and care homes have suffered badly. The government initially said it did not believe care homes were at particular risk but it has been slow to roll out testing of both staff and patients, and many homes struggled to access protective equipment. Critics also say the rapid transfer of elderly patients from hospitals to care homes in a bid to free up beds at the start of the pandemic helped spread the disease. Johnson said on Monday: “We discovered too many care homes didn´t really follow the procedures in the way that they could have, but we´re learning lessons the whole time. The comments caused outrage among care providers, and one accused the Conservative leader of an “appalling” attempt to deflect from “an absolute travesty of leadership from the government”.

´Kafka-esque alternative reality´ Mark Adams, chief executive of Community Integrated Care, which provides services for people with learning disabilities and dementia, told BBC radio that at best, the remarks were “clumsy and cowardly”.