Belgium: Covid-positive health workers asked to keep working as crisis worsens

28 Octobre, 2020, 15:18 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Hospital Liege Belgium

A sign of how bad things are in Belgium in regard to COVID-19: Doctors and nurses who've tested positive but have no symptoms are being asked to continue working in some overwhelmed hospitals, reports the Washington Post.

The Head of the Belgian Association of Medical Unions, Dr. Philippe Devos, told the BBC the decision was necessary.

Nearly 5,000 people are now in hospitals, more than 750 of them in intensive care, according to the latest data. "A major issue is the risk of the collapse of the hospital system of our country", says the minister-president of Brussels.

They have also had to cancel all non-urgent surgeries to save the hospital system from its impending demise.

Belgium has recorded total of of 333,718 cases and 10,899 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to Sciensano.

Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke last week said Belgium could face a "tsunami" of new cases.

Countries across Europe are battling fresh waves of the virus as the continent goes into winter.

Medical staff transfer a COVID-19 patient, due to the lack of room, from the CHR Citadelle hospital in Liege, Belgium.

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"We must prepare everything for a lockdown if there is no improvement by the end of this week", he said.

Meanwhile, a French doctor warned yesterday that his country had "lost control of the epidemic" after health authorities reported more than 52,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day.

Here in Ireland, 3 deaths were reported this evening, bringing the death toll to 1,885.

Dr Jean-François Delfraissy, president of the scientific council that advises the French government on the virus, said the country was in a "very hard, even critical situation".

Liege, the largest city in the French-speaking Wallonia region, has the highest incidence rate in Belgium.

"Between those who aren't tested and asymptomatic patients, we're close to that number of cases. This means the virus is spreading extremely fast".

France declared a state of emergency earlier this month and has been imposing more and more restrictions since September to try to ease the pressure on France's hospitals, where COVID-19 patients occupy more than half of all ICU beds.



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