Belgian doctors infected with coronavirus told to keep working

Henrietta Strickland
October 28, 2020

Those who are asymptomatic have had to return to work in order to stop the collapse of the hospital system.

The announcement comes as around a quarter of medical staff in the city of Liège is off sick with the virus.

Doctors infected with the coronavirus in the Belgian city of Liege have been asked to keep working in a desperate bid to prevent the health system from collapsing.

Liege, the largest city in the French-speaking Wallonia region, has the highest incidence rate in Belgium. Tje communications director of Liege University Hospital, Louis Maraite, told CNN on Tuesday that because of staff shortages, the hospital had "no choice" but to make doctors and nurses who tested positive but have no symptoms come to work. Hospitalizations are up 87% in the nation over the past week as the nation heads toward what the health minister refers to as a "tsunami" of cases. 'We no longer control what is happening'.

"Right now, we are well behind this virus in Europe, so getting ahead of it is going to take some serious acceleration in what we do", World Health Organization emergencies head Dr Mike Ryan said.

Top health official have warned that Belgium could run out of intensive care beds in as little as two weeks and some hospitals are facing staff shortages. So the situation in the hospitals is serious.

Belgian authorities warned yesterday that the country faces a pivotal week in its struggle to limit the spread of the coronavirus, as a series of new restrictions took effect in one of the European countries hardest hit by the pandemic.

About one person in every five who is tested turns out to be positive.

Nearly 12,500 new cases are being reported on average every 24 hours, figures released Monday for the week from October 16-22 showed, compared to around 5,000 a day two weeks ago.

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

Pressure is building on Belgium's hospitals, where 467 people are being admitted on average each day, a rise of 85 per cent. Both hospital and intensive care admissions are doubling every eight days, he added. Seventy-three people died in the same time period, taking total fatalities to 10,810.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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