clearn.png
Thursday June 17th, 2021 1:45AM

Belgian St. Nick party for elderly leads to 27 virus deaths

By The Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) — Authorities in Belgium say a 27th elderly person has died in an outbreak at a nursing home from a super-spreading St. Nick party last month but they hope the situation is now under control.

The Hemelrijck home in the northern Belgium city of Mol had organized a Dec. 4 visit from a troupe playing the beloved saint who usually spreads mirth and presents. But the city and families of some of the deceased have complained that the nursing home should never have organized the party when restrictive measures on events were in place throughout the country to contain the pandemic.

The Mol municipality said “the event was not coordinated with the crisis cell," and if they had heard about it beforehand they would have stopped it.

The municipality said on New Year’s Eve that a 27th person had died.

At the Hemelrijck nursing home, no one was available for comment Friday. At last count, the home had 88 infections among residents and 42 among staff.

Lily Lenaerts, whose sister Angele, 85, was the first to die after the outbreak, is upset at how the nursing home is treating family members.

“I still have not received a condolence card (from the nursing home) and I have been visiting for four years," she told the Het Laatste Nieuws.

St. Nicholas is the traditional Dec. 6 day to give presents and is much more important to children in Belgium than Santa Claus on Dec. 25, which is primarily a family gathering.

Initially, one of the actors of the St. Nick group had been thought to be the source of the outbreak, but subsequent research could not be fully conclusive.

Belgium's eminent virologist, Marc Van Ranst, said it could “not be said with 100% certainty that he introduced it in the care home." He added “the man was a volunteer in the care home and theoretically could have been infected by a resident or a staff member."

The city said the outbreak was finally stabilizing.

“The health condition of the residents has shown a marked improvement," the city said in a statement.

Belgium, a nation of 11.5 million, has been badly hit by the pandemic with 19,528 confirmed virus deaths so far, many of them in nursing homes.

___

Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Health, AP World News, AP Health - Senior Health
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Delay sought in ex-officers' trial over George Floyd's death
Prosecutors in the case against the four Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd requested that the trial delayed by three months
12:35PM ( 20 minutes ago )
The Latest: Bills activate WR John Brown off COVID-19 list
The Buffalo Bills have activated three players from their reserve-COVID-19 list: wide receiver John Brown, safety Josh Thomas and running back Christian Wade
12:12PM ( 43 minutes ago )
The Latest: Italy COVID-19 death toll now highest in Europe
Italy has added another 462 virus deaths for a known coronavirus pandemic death toll of 74,621 _ the highest in Europe
12:08PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
New Year comes to COVID ward, with hope for end to nightmare
While the world said goodbye — or good riddance — to a pandemic-ridden 2020, nurses and doctors fighting the virus on the front lines soldiered on even as the clock passed midnight
10:48AM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Curfew-defying ravers in France attack police
Officials say ravers at an underground New Year’s Eve party that drew at least 2,500 people in western France attacked police units, injuring officers with volleys of bottles and stones
10:36AM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Israel reaches 1 million mark in vaccinations
Israel says it has vaccinated 1 million people against COVID-19, more than a tenth of its population, as it rolls out one of the world’s earliest and most rapid inoculation campaigns
7:54AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Health
Some Mexicans struggle to get oxygen amid virus case surge
Some residents of Mexico City spent New Year's Eve in lines that snaked down a street and around a corner, waiting to refill oxygen canisters for relatives suffering from COVID-19
11:23AM ( 1 hour ago )
UK abolishes 'sexist' tax on women's sanitary products
Britain has become the latest nation to abolish the so-called “tampon tax.”
10:40AM ( 2 hours ago )
'Our children die in our hands': Floods ravage South Sudan
On a scrap of land surrounded by flooding in South Sudan, families drink and bathe from the waters that swept away latrines and continue to rise
7:05AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP World News
AP Health - Senior Health
Delay sought in ex-officers' trial over George Floyd's death
Prosecutors in the case against the four Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd requested that the trial delayed by three months
12:35PM ( 20 minutes ago )
The Latest: Bills activate WR John Brown off COVID-19 list
The Buffalo Bills have activated three players from their reserve-COVID-19 list: wide receiver John Brown, safety Josh Thomas and running back Christian Wade
12:12PM ( 43 minutes ago )
The Latest: Italy COVID-19 death toll now highest in Europe
Italy has added another 462 virus deaths for a known coronavirus pandemic death toll of 74,621 _ the highest in Europe
12:08PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Serbia opens pipeline for Russian gas, ignores US opposition
Defying U.S. calls to reduce its dependency on Russian energy supplies, Serbia has officially launched a new gas link that will bring additional Russian gas to the Balkan country via Bulgaria and Turkey
12:05PM ( 50 minutes ago )
The Latest: Cleveland Browns reopen practice facility
The Cleveland Browns have reopened their facility and will practice after a succession of COVID-19 interruptions this week
12:00PM ( 56 minutes ago )