18 bodies exhumed as part of investigation in residential care home alleged ‘negligence’ in Reggio Emila

EPA-EFE/TIZIANO MANZONI

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Prosecutors in Reggio Emilia have ordered that the bodies of 18 elderly people who died of the coronavirus in a residential care home in the town of San Giuseppe’ di Montecchio Emilia be exhumed so autopsies can be performed on them, local newspapers reported Tuesday.

The move is linked to an investigation into COVID-19 deaths in the town, which was among the worst-hit by the coronavirus in the province of Reggio Emilia.

Five people are under investigation in relation to the case, including the local parish priest and the director of the care home. Investigators want to establish whether negligence was behind the deaths and are looking into possible charges of culpable homicide.

They suspect that an infection hotspot may have been caused by an elderly person being taken to the care home after a spell in hospital. The suspects have said they did no wrongdoing via their lawyers.

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