Although medics still have to confirm whether the child is infected with the British variant of the virus, the Mayor of Aalst Christophe D’Haese appeared certain that this is the case when he gave an interview to VRT Radio 2 East Flanders. “The infected pupil’s class, the teacher and all family members must isolate with immediate effect”, Mr D’Haese said. “Other classes will be able to go ahead as we acted very quickly and were able to isolate the case straight away. We are of course highly vigilant”, Mr D’Haese said.
The presence of the British variant is a particular cause for concern as it is 70% more infectious than other coronavirus variants. It can quickly lead to a sharp rise in infections and put great strain on the health care system.
Mayor D'Haese told the VRT that the city authorities received confirmation that the child had the British variant of coronavirus during the weekend. The child had said that his father had returned to Aalst from England. The boy’s test sample was sent to be tested for the British variant. Both the child’s parents and his grandparents have also tested positive for coronavirus.
“It is important that we are able to quickly stop these clusters from spreading. Here you can see how important contact tracing is in enabling you to act quickly”, Mr D’Haese said.