Basic human rights of elderly people in care homes in Belgium have been violated during the coronavirus pandemic, a rights group said in a report.

According to Amnesty International report on nursing homes in Belgium, the country’s authorities “abandoned” elderly people in nursing homes and they died “early” due to lack of sufficient health care.

The report — prepared through interviews with people in nursing homes, employees, and managers in March-October — said 61% of those who died in this period in the country were those who stayed in nursing homes.

In Belgium, with a population of 11.4 million, 535,000 cases and more than 14,000 deaths have been recorded since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the report, authorities delayed taking measures to protect elderly people who are staying in nursing homes.

The report also argued that until August, the test capacity was insufficient for employees in nursing homes, who served without adequate protective equipment for a long time.

* Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak in Ankara.

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