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News > El Salvador

El Salvador: 42 Elderly Died from COVID-19 in Nursing Home

  • Elderly in the state-run Sara Zaldivar nursing home, San Salvador Department, El Salvador.

    Elderly in the state-run Sara Zaldivar nursing home, San Salvador Department, El Salvador. | Photo: Twitter/ @lasnoticiasSV

Published 28 January 2021

The Bukele administration has yet to provide answers to what happened to those who resided in the Sara Zaldivar nursing home.

El Salvador's Human Rights Ombudsman (PDDH) Apolonio Tobar on Wednesday denounced before Congress' Health Commission the death of 42 elderly from COVID-19 in a state-run nursing home.


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The deaths were registered in the Sara Zaldivar nursing home, in the Costa Rica neighborhood of the San Salvador Department, from March to September 2020.

"The elderly died from COVID-19 because they did not receive the required care," Tobar said, recalling that President Nayib Bukele's government is responsible for these deaths.

At the end of 2020, the Attorney General's Office begun to investigate the case after complaints from citizens and the PDDH.

"The investigation, however, stalled... Almost a year after the complaints began, we have no response from the Bukele administration," Tobar said.

In September, Sara Zaldivar nursing home's employees protested over the lack of biosafety equipment needed to assist COVID-19 patients.

"The sick were placed in the home's psychiatric ward, to prevent other residents from catching the disease. In that room, however, there were no conditions to treat them," Tobar explained. 

The Integral Rehabilitation Institute (ISRI) reported that over 220 elderly and employees have been infected at the nursing home since the beginning of the pandemic.

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