Belgian schools to reopen next week despite Covid surge

Belgian kindergartens, primary and secondary schools will reopen fully from January 10 despite an ongoing resurgence of new Covid-19 cases, said Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

However, protective measures against coronavirus will continue to be enforced, including permanent ventilation in classrooms, obligatory masks from the age of six, and compliance with testing and quarantine measures, reports Xinhua news agency.

The country’s consultative committee on Covid also announced at its first meeting of 2022 on Thursday that all current measures to stop the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, which was causing a sharp increase in the number of infections in Belgium, will remain in place.

So far, 80 to 90 per cent of new infections were due to the Omicron variant, Belgian virologist Steven Van Gucht told reporters here.

This is reflected in a rapid increase in infections in Belgium (up by 79 per cent last week) and an increase in hospital admissions (up 20 per cent), while the occupancy rate of intensive care units continues to decline.

Belgium has so far recorded 2,179,710 cases and 28,429 deaths since the start of the pandemic.




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