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Home Health & Fitness Dozens of residents die at Belgian care home after Santa visit |...

Dozens of residents die at Belgian care home after Santa visit | Belgium


#At least 26 residents of a #Belgian retirement home have died since a visit by a volunteer dressed as #Saint #Nicholas who has since tested positive for #Covid-19.

The deaths at the #Hemelrijck home in #Mol, near #Antwerp, have prompted the local municipality to criticise the “completely irresponsible” organisers of the festive visit, although the cause of the infection is not yet certain.

The outbreak followed a visit on 5 #December by volunteers dressed as #Saint #Nicholas and his helper #Zwarte #Piet, organised by the nursing home’s management. The white-bearded, red-robed figure of #Saint #Nicholas, or #Saint #Nicholas, brings gifts to #Belgians every 6 #December.

#But within days, residents had displayed symptoms of coronavirus. #Twenty six have since died and 85 more have tested positive for coronavirus, along with 40 staff.

#In a statement, the municipality of #Mols had initially said the volunteer only entered “common areas, such as the sitting areas”.

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“He always kept a distance from the residents, stayed nowhere longer than a few minutes and wore a mouth mask. The residents also wore a mouth mask,” the municipality said.

#But after photographs of the event emerged revealing that residents had not been wearing masks during the visit, the municipality issued a clarification.

“We have received wrong information from the management,” the second statement said. “We deeply regret that. #After looking at several photos, we have to conclude that this goes much further than an error. #Rather, it is a completely irresponsible event. #We would never have approved this.”

#Marc #Van #Ranst, a prominent virologist, has reported on #Twitter that most of the infections came from the same source.

A regional health spokesman, #Joris #Moonens, said no inquiry had been launched in the absence of a formal complaint. There is no suggestion the volunteer knew he was infected.

A crisis manager has been appointed for #Hemelrijck, which housed 169 people before the #Covid outbreak, to help staff, residents and relatives cope “in this difficult period”.

#Belgium has one of the highest per capita coronavirus death tolls in the world, and more than half of the deceased – 11,066 people – were retirement home residents.

#Armonea, the company that runs the residential care home, said its staff had taken the appropriate measures to keep residents safe.



[ source link ]
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/31/covid-outbreak-hits-belgian-care-home-after-santa-visit

##Dozens #residents #die ##Belgian #care #home ##Santa #visit ##Belgium

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