Minister comments on launching of probe into Split nursing home deaths in 2020

NEWS 11.11.2022 21:29

Health Minister Vili Beros on Friday commented on an investigation launched by the Municipal Prosecutor's Office in Split over the death of 18 residents of a local nursing home who in the spring of 2020 died of COVID-19.

Under investigation are the nursing home’s director, Ivan Skaricic, the chief nurse and the doctor who was in charge of the residents.

Two and a half years ago, the minister sent an inspection team to Split which did not find any irregularities in the conduct of the nursing home’s medical personnel.

A report by the ministries of health and social welfare said at the time that nobody was responsible for the residents’ death and that it was caused by the infection with coronavirus.

Asked to comment on the fact that an investigation in the case has been opened, Beros said that he remembered “a health inspection team having visited the nursing home, requested certain information and made its conclusion.”

“Nobody is infallible, but by saying this I am not prejudging anything. It is good state institutions are doing their job, I welcome that, we will see what they will find,” the minister said, adding that he stood by his assessment at the time that “the virus is to blame.”

“In principle, (the deaths) were due to the virus, that was the start of the epidemic and I made that statement after repeated demands that a single culprit be identified,” the minister said, adding that it had not been possible to identify a single person responsible for the virus having entered the nursing home.

He also said that Split was not the only European city where a nursing home had become an infection hotbed with fatal outcomes.

“I said that the virus is to blame, and if there were other circumstances, they will be investigated and a decision made. I would not change my statement made at the time,” said the minister.

Beros also confirmed that a ministry inspection team had been sent to the Gospic Hospital to investigate a recent case of a 23-year-old woman who died after giving birth to her fourth child there, due to complications caused by placenta accreta, a serious pregnancy condition that occurs when the placenta grows too deeply into the uterine wall.

The woman died in the Zadar Hospital, where she was taken after she developed complications after giving birth at the Gospic Hospital.


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