Relatives of COVID-19 victims in Bergamo, Italy’s most infected province, took legal action on Wednesday in search of justice for their dead.
Members of the “Noi Denunceremo” (We will press charges) association, born out of a Facebook group, filed 50 individual criminal complaints before the Bergamo prosecutors’ office.
“We are all from the Bergamo area and we all have similar stories, stories of family tragedies, and we are all seeking clear and serious answers from prosecutors,’’ Cristina Longhini told dpa.
Longhini and other relatives were not pressing charges against specific individuals or institutions, nevertheless were convinced that many people died due to official negligence and incompetence.
According to a lawyer for the group, many of the complaints cite authorities’ failure to seal off Alzano Lombardo and Nembro, two towns on the outskirts of Bergamo that were virus clusters in early March.
They also mentioned the rushed reopening of the emergency room of Alzano Lombardo’s hospital, after the first COVID-19 cases were diagnosed there, citing it as having contributed to the epidemic.
“It will be up to judicial authorities to assess the complaints, it won’t be a quick investigation given the sensitivity of the matter,’’ the lawyer, Consuelo Locati, was quoted as saying by ANSA news agency.
Longhini lost her 65-year-old father in March.
When he got sick, the family doctor refused to visit him at home, and ambulances were not available to take him to hospital for several days, while he was finally hospitalised, he was beyond saving.
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