Italy’s nursing homes struggle to survive after thousands died from coronavirus

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Italy’s nursing homes, ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic which claimed the lives of thousands of residents, face financial pressures that threaten to put many out of business and create a fresh elderly care crisis.

With costs escalating because of the pandemic and new admissions to care homes blocked in regions including Lombardy, the epicenter of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak, care home operators say many may not survive without government help.

“In October, unless something happens that allows us to fill empty beds, and unless we get some help with the extraordinary costs we have taken, we’ll have to file for bankruptcy,” said Walter Montini, head of an association for 30 care homes in the region around Cremona.

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“Instead of taking on new residents, we’ll have to send people home to their families.”

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The COVID-19 outbreak has taken a heavy toll on nursing homes ever since the disease first emerged in Lombardy in late February. Many were told to take in patients with the disease to relieve the region’s overwhelmed hospitals, despite a lack of protective equipment.

“We all came under a lot of pressure from Lombardy regional government to take in COVID patients.

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