Brussels Health Inspection to test about 6,000 nursing home staff on Covid-19; Jette sounding the alarm

The Brussels authorities are stepping up efforts to stop the rise of coronavirus. This morning, it was announced that all staff working in nursing homes or care homes, will be tested. There are about 6,000 persons working in the sector. 

Corona figures for Brussels are getting worse: the threshold of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week was exceeded some days ago, which triggered a general obligation to wear a mouth mask outside and in public places. Virologist Steven Van Gucht warned that "if figures in Brussels continue to rise, Brussels will be in the same situation as Antwerp recently." 

There is still a big difference between different municipalities though. Areas such as Anderlecht, Sint-Joost, Schaarbeek and Jette are a lot worse off than richer boroughs like the Woluwes, Ukkel or Watermaal-Bosvoorde.

The university hospital in Jette is seeing a sharp rise in the number of hospitalisations - though total numbers are still relatively low. CEO Marc Noppe told the VRT that "a general mouth mask obligation is a good thing, but not enough" to stop this rise. We should reduce our number of contact, and respect social distancing and hygiene measures, he underlined. 

At present, vulnerable people like those staying in care homes are more or less being spared - contrary to the first wave. Brussels wants to keep it that way and has decided that all staff working at old people's homes will automatically be tested. "This is to avoid that the virus - which is now mostly touching youngsters - would spread to the oldest generation", Inge Neven of the Brussels Health Inspection said. 


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