After 121 outbreaks, Covid-infected Santa Claus visited a nursing home in Belgium and killed 18 residents
- Santa Claus is welcomed in a nursing home for 150 residents in the town of Mol in Antwerp
- Three days after he tested positive for Covid-19, it sparked fear in nursing homes
- It is said that Santa Claus is full of regret, and the mayor called his family “completely irresponsible”
After the infected Santa came to visit Belgium, about 18 nursing home residents have now died of the coronavirus.
Earlier this month, Sinterklaas and his assistant Zwarte Piet (“Black Pete”), who had a black face, infected 121 residents and 36 staff of the Hemelrijck Nursing Home in Mol, Antwerp.
The photo of this man appeared two weeks ago since St Nicholas wore the clothes. Since then, “super spreaders” have been accused of rising housing deaths.
On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, five more elderly people died and at least one received oxygen therapy.
Three days after the visit, his father became seriously ill at Christmas and tested positive for Covid-19, which prompted health officials to start testing at home.
Volunteers dressed as Santa Claus cheered Christmas among 150 residents of the Hemelrijck nursing home in Mol, Antwerp (Photo: When Santa Claus and his Zwarte Piet (“Black Pete”) helpers visited, residents liked sweet wine and oranges)
The house claims to comply with social distancing regulations, but the Santa Claus in the photo is very close to the elderly
Santa Claus and his assistant chat with residents of the nursing home.His assistant wears a black face, dressed as Zwarte Piet (“Black Pete”), a traditionally controversial figure in the Netherlands and parts of Belgium
Mayor Mol Wim Caeyers told local media: “We expect as many as ten difficult days. It is a very bad day for nursing homes.
Who is “Black Pete”?
The role of Santa Claus’s assistant first appeared in the book of Amsterdam teacher Jan Schenkman in 1850.
Those who portray Zwarte Piet usually wear black face makeup and brightly colored Renaissance clothing in addition to curly hair wigs, red lipstick and earrings.
Opponents say that this description promotes racist stereotypes, while supporters defend the white beard of Saint Nicholas, the assistant of the Dutch version of Saint Nicholas in red, as a traditional child role.
“For those who play St. Nicholas, as well as the organizers and employees, they are under tremendous mental pressure.”
However, photos of the event showed that not all residents were wearing masks, and Santa Claus and his young assistant were standing within two meters of the elderly.
Mr. Keyes said: “Initially [the care home] Says that the rules have been complied with, but then you immediately receive a photo of the resident’s family, where you find that this is not the case. “
His government called nursing homes a “completely irresponsible organization.”
The mayor said that after Sunday’s crisis negotiations, with the help of local health workers, the Red Cross and the governor of Antwerp, the control of the virus will be “all-out”.
A spokesperson for Armonea, the company in charge of housing management, said: “The team was very shocked by what happened, but it also gave them great motivation to remove the virus again.”
However, one of Belgium’s top virologists expressed doubts that Santa volunteers might have caused so many infections.
Marc Van Ranst of Leuven University said: “Even super-spreaders, these infections are too many at once.”
Father talks to an elderly resident at Christmas.He and his assistant seem to be no more than two meters away from her
Hemelrijck Nursing Home is located in Mol, Antwerp, operated by Armonea
In recent days, the number of daily infections in Belgium has increased, with 2,762 on Saturdays and 4,978 on Sundays
He believes that poor ventilation is likely to be the cause of this situation, and carbon dioxide measurements should be carried out by local health officials.
Nevertheless, he added that visiting Santa Claus during the pandemic was a “stupid idea.”
Belgium is the country with the worst coronavirus deaths per million people in the world.
The country recorded 2,342 new coronavirus cases on Christmas Day, of which 51 died