A woman whose mother died in a UK nursing home after testing positive for Covid-19 has spoken to RT about the distressing circumstances of her mum’s death, as the government comes under fire for the staggering toll in care homes.

Michelle Rowland told RT that in March she had received a call from her mother Doreen’s nursing home in Kent, informing her that her 72-year-old mother had a high temperature and a cough.

“And then they advised me that she had a cough the day before as well. [I said] ‘these [signs] are very symptomatic of the coronavirus, or Covid-19. Has she been tested?’” Rowland said that the staff initially replied: “No, we’re not testing.”

The nursing home later called again and told Rowland that Doreen had in fact tested positive for Covid-19. She immediately wanted to see her mother but, like many relatives of coronavirus patients, was not allowed to do so.

It’s really horrible because you can’t go and see them. You can’t hold their hand. You can’t look after them. I had to pretty much blag my way to get to speak to my mom on the phone. That was the last time.

“We talked about the day we were looking forward to. When the weather was going to get warmer, we were going to get her in a chair and get her outside. She was so looking forward to it,” a visibly upset Rowland said, unable to hold back her emotions.

On Monday morning at 10 o’clock they called from the care home and said that Mom had passed away. They wanted to talk to me more, but I couldn’t.