Radio 2

41 cases of South African variant in Middelkerke

At least 41 residents and staff at the Westduin care home in the seaside resort of Westende (West Flanders) have caught the South African variant of coronavirus. Westduin is the second West Flemish care home where the South African variant has been reported.

Burgomaster Jean-Marie Dedecker tightened up restrictions at all care homes in Middelkerke following an outbreak of common coronavirus at a care home in Houthulst (West Flanders).  “Still, it got inside” the mayor told VRT.

“38 residents have come down with coronavirus as well as 3 staff.  4 residents are in hospital”.

Earlier, cases of the South African variant appeared at a care home in neighbouring Ostend.  The two care homes belong to the same group.  “There’s often an exchange of staff” says Mr Dedecker.  “Staff are tested but somebody must have brought the virus from one care home to the other.  You can’t blame the staff. They are under tremendous pressure.  They are doing what they can.”

34 cases of common coronavirus have been reported from a second care home in Middelkerke, but tests showed the more contagious South Africa variant was not in play.

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