Care homes in Majorca are hardly unique in the vulnerability of residents and workers from Covid. But while the attention (or lack of it) paid to care homes goes well beyond our island shores, this does not diminish the need to question the approach to Covid in Majorca’s “residencias” or indeed the administration of social care more broadly. The Balearic government and the Council of Majorca’s Institute of Social Affairs have taken over direct control of the Bell Entorn home in Soller, where more than half the residents have tested positive. It has been argued that this decision should have been taken earlier, the health ministry admitting that Covid measures have been “insufficient”.

It seems staggering that the outbreak at this home (not an isolated case) was detected by chance. Tests were conducted after a resident who was to have an operation was found to be positive. Why are tests not being conducted more routinely?

The management at the home will attract criticism, but the institutions need to look at themselves as well. The fact that both the government and the Council are involved in taking over the running of the home says something about responsibilities. Again. The government does, after all, have its own social affairs ministry, and it was precisely this duplication that aroused questions in respect of the care of vulnerable teenagers under the Council’s supervision.

The organisation of social care in Majorca needs proper examination by a parliamentary commission, something which the government has been loathe to agree to.

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