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    Coronavirus: some news to raise the spirits

    The class of Miss Ingeborg, 23 portraits in wool © Facebook

    It’s Easter, and traditionally the time for good news, even in these coronavirus times.

    Brussels Airlines is making good use of the downtime of its planes to give them all a good spring clean and a thorough service.

    The airline has announced its flights will not be back to normal until 15 May at the earliest, but when they do resume, the planes will have benefited from the respite, the airline announced on Twitter.

    “While we temporarily suspend our flights, our colleagues at Maintenance & Engineering are working hard so that our aircraft will be in top shape to welcome you on board once we’re able to start flying again! #WeareBrusselsAirlines #Weareinthistogether”

    The far-left coalition PTB/PVDA has called on its 38 elected officials in administrations across the country to donate half of their April salary to organisations fighting the coronavirus, including the Red Cross, Doctors without Borders and Doctors of the World. The potential donation if all take part comes to €140,000.

    When the schools in the Netherlands closed down last month, primary school teacher Ingeborg Meinster-Van der Duin, from the Dr. H.Bavinck school in Haarlem missed her class so badly she set about knitting puppets representing all 23 of them, exact likenesses down to hairstyles and freckles (photo).

    While the animal park is closed, Pairi Daiza in Hainaut province announced the birth of a baby Père David’s deer (Elaphurus davidianus), also known as the milu. The birth is extraordinary as the deer is considered extinct in the wild. The parents are four years old, young for a deer, and the park hopes further pregnancies might follow.

    The city of Ypres in West Flanders has picked up an idea first suggested by Flemish minister Zuhal Demir earlier this month, and issued each family in the city a voucher to be spent in one of the local businesses, either now or when shops reopen. The gesture is an attempt to make up for lost income by shopkeepers forced to close during the lockdown. Demir had suggested the idea for families with second homes at the coast, also to encourage local businesses.

    An Ostend-based company, Zorabot, has developed Epidemic, an aptly-named robot which can measure the temperature of up to 20 people at a time remotely, to detect the possibility of fever and infection. The company claims Epidemic will have a useful function even outside of corona conditions, and not only in hospitals and care homes.

    Alan Hope
    The Brussels Times