Switzerland: Criminal proceedings opened against retirement home after coronavirus deaths

Switzerland: Criminal proceedings opened against retirement home after coronavirus deaths
An elderly man walks past a steel fence wearing a mask. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
Criminal charges have been laid against an old people’s home in the southern Swiss canton of Ticino after more than 20 coronavirus deaths.

More than 20 residents of a retirement home in Sementina died between March and May this year. 

Three people who run the centre have been accused of negligent homicide and violation of Switzerland’s Epidemics Act. 

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According to Switzerland’s Tages Anzeiger broadsheet, those charged are the general director, medical director and another employee of the centre. 

The charges were announced by the Ticino public prosecutor on Tuesday evening. 

The prosecution was opened after the cantonal medical department reviewed and examined documents relating to the centre. 

The investigation started following statements made by a relative of one of the victims. 

Early in the pandemic, Ticino was the heaviest hit canton in terms of fatalities. 

Of those fatalities, more than half came from nursing homes

In total, 17 percent of coronavirus deaths in Switzerland came from Ticino, despite the canton having only four percent of the country’s population. 


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