South African and British variants in Brussels

Tests on samples from people who are sick with corona in Brussels during the past fortnight reveal at least one case of the South African variant and 28 cases of the British variant.  Across the Brussels Region there are now 260 cases of corona per 100,000 head of population.

Today people with a high viral load are the subject of more stringent efforts at contact tracing in Brussels.  The measures were introduced on 13 January to identify and isolate new sources of new variants very quickly.  A team of 13 specially trained field agents have been at work since 18 January. They have received special training to track down outbreaks.

Each week around 40,000 people are being tested for corona in the Brussels Region. 

“The launch of the vaccine campaign has given us a glimmer of hope” says Alain Maron, the Francophone minister responsible for health in the capital. “The Brussels Region has expanded its teams in order to isolate sources of the infection and provide follow-up to travellers returning from red zones.”

Corona outbreaks have also been reported from eight schools. The Sint-Michiels College in Etterbeek has switched to remote learning after seven cases of the British variant and at least 18 positive Covid cases.

More cases have been reported from Ukkel - 25 cases of the British variant at kindergartens – and in Oudergem, Molenbeek and Evere. Cases have been reported at several local authorities, in care homes and creches.

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