Seven elderly residents at a nursing home in the capital have died after suffering "severe" symptoms of the Covid-19 coronavirus, the City government said Wednesday.
A total of 45 people at the Del Arce retirement home in Villa Urquiza have tested positive since May 28, the Buenos Aires City Health Ministry said in a statement. Of them, 30 are residents and 15 are healthcare professionals.
"Despite the efforts of medical teams at the health centres where they were hospitalised, seven elderly adults died from a severe Covid-19 infection," officials said.
Relatives of the deceased expressed anger at those in charge.
"If they did everything right, tell me why there were more than 30 infected and so many deaths," said Paula García, whose 97-year-old grandmother, Yolanda, died after being infected with the virus.
"They should have tested all the residents. My grandmother died on June 13 as a result of having been infected with Covid-19 there," she told the TN news channel.
According to the woman, a group of family members have filed a lawsuit against the nursing home, located on Roosevelt 5570. She said relatives had "evidence that the [coronavirus] protocol was not respected."
The City government said that after detecting the first case, it made eight visits to the site and that on June 13 "the entire geriátrico [nursing home] was swabbed," a reference to Covid-19 testing.
In comments reported by local outlets, the director of the nursing home, José Carlos Puig Boo, denied accusations of malpractice and said that the health situation was now under control.
Several retirement homes that house the elderly, both in Buenos Aires and in other cities across Argentina, have registered cases of Covid-19, prompting their partial or total evacuation. Many family members have alleged failures in care and a lack of preventative measures.
According to a daily briefing from the City Mayor's Office, as of Tuesday there were a total of 4,451 confirmed cases in nursing homes in the capital.
Argentina has registered more than 47,000 infections and 1,085 deaths. Residents in Greater Buenos Aires have been under lockdown since March 20, though some restrictions have been loosened in recent weeks. As many as 90 percent of all cases of Covid-19 in the country are in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area, where around 14 million live.