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Five die in Antwerp retirement community

Five residents living in retirement community housing in Antwerp have died of COVID-19. The Care and Health Agency says it wasn’t informed, “though this would have been a good thing in the case of an outbreak” the agency adds.

The five seniors living at the retirement community housing complex De Fontein in the Antwerp borough of Borgerhout died between 18 and 23 March; all were aged 80 or more and lived in their own, separate flats.  Four lived on the same corridor.

The five were all good friends and before coronavirus measures were implemented saw each other regularly.  A first infection was reported on 9 March.

The care agency says it hasn’t yet been involved in the situation in Borgerhout.  “Individual cases don’t need to be reported, but in this case it looks like an outbreak and it would have been a good thing if we had been informed” says Joris Moonen of the Care and Health Agency.

The company that runs the flats took stricter measures on Monday.  A lockdown has been imposed on residents in 4,000 retirement community flats.  Residents aren’t allowed to leave their flats, not even to do the shopping.

Elsewhere residents at retirement community housing complexes are supposed to comply with the rules affecting all other Belgian residents.  

Meanwhile Borgerhout district has launched a helpline ‘care for seniors’ to help seniors through the crisis.  Between 10AM and 3PM the helpline 03 338 17 73 brings seniors and volunteers together for a chat or if shopping needs to be done.

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