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    Coronavirus: Sinterklaas is safe, says Marc Van Ranst

    Sinterklaas is a holiday figure still uniquely celebrated in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg on 6 December every year. Credit: Belga

    Sinterklaas is healthy and is self-isolating in his castle in the face of the coronavirus crisis – so there is no need for children to worry, according to virologist Marc Van Ranst.

    This information came after 7-year-old Finn sent Van Ranst a question about his concerns for Sinterklaas’ health.

    “I hear that there are even more sick people in Spain,” wrote the boy. “Is Sinterklaas going to get sick too? And is he going to die? I hope not. Hopefully, they will have someone like you in Spain.”

    Posted by Marc Van Ranst on Friday, April 10, 2020

    Posting the letter on his Facebook alongside his reply, Van Ranst called on the help of a Spanish colleague Prof. Javierologica, who gave Sinterklaas a call “immediately”.

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    “I am happy to tell you that Sinterklaas is healthy and well. He has secluded himself on the first floor of his castle and hasn’t received any visitors for a month,” explained Van Ranst. He added that food is being delivered by a lift, and that he is staying in touch with Zwarte Piet on Skype.

    Even in the face of this, Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet are still busy making toys for when they come back to our country in December, so everything is still on schedule, added Van Ranst.

    Sinterklaas is a holiday figure still uniquely celebrated in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg on 6 December every year. He is said to visit every house on the night before to leave presents and candy for children who have been good during the past year.

    This follows a similar announcement that the Easter Bunny will still be allowed to hide chocolate eggs in gardens this weekend, as he had “an essential profession,” according to Van Ranst.

    Jules Johnston
    The Brussels Times