In an email dated 17 April, a spokesperson for Wallonia’s regional health agency AVIQ said that 136 infection clusters (of more than 10 confirmed cases) had been detected at that point.
“We are testing between 4,000 and 6,000 people in nursing homes each day,” Morreale said, adding that the completion of the tests on Sunday would give officials a clear vision of the situation in the live-in care centres.
As Belgium’s death toll rose in April, nursing homes emerged as major infection clusters and currently make up for 53% of the total 7,501.
A lack of widespread testing means that not all of the nursing home deaths chalked up to Covid-19 were confirmed by a test, a mortality tracking strategy that has sparked opposingviews from officials within the federal government’s coronavirus task force.
Once the testing is completed in nursing homes, Wallonia will begin testing live-in health facilities for mental health care centres or residences for people with disabilities.
The completion of the testing strategy comes as the Walloon government announced that visits to nursing homes will be once again allowed but under strict conditions.