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Population of Jewish Quarter asked to get tested

The City of Antwerp is asking 6,500 of its inhabitants living in two predominantly Jewish neighbourhoods of the port city to get tested for coronavirus.  The city says infection rates are higher than average in these districts and hopes the testing will prevent the need to quarantine thousands of people.

The two neighbourhoods are located between City Park and the Lamorinièrestraat and are popular with orthodox Jews.  Mayor Bart De Wever: “I want to say clearly that this measure is not aimed against any particular community”.

“It’s true many orthodox Jews live there.  They have frequent contacts with the UK.  It’s possible the British variant is circulating and we’d like to know to what degree. We want to avoid the need to quarantine thousands of people.”

“Our municipal crisis centre provides district to district follow-up of corona infections.  We want to organise large scale testing in areas where there are problems to find out what’s going on.”

Higher than average infection levels were noticed in recent days.  The City of Antwerp is determined to track down those who are infected and find out which variant of the virus they have caught to establish if any new variants are circulating widely.

All inhabitants of the designated areas aged 6 or more and being asked to get tested next weekend or next Monday. All those concerned will receive a letter that includes a special code inviting them to get tested free of charge at the local test village Spoor Oost.

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