Over half of coronavirus patients say they caught virus at work: survey

Over half of coronavirus patients say they caught virus at work: survey
© Belga

More than half of respondents to a weekly survey tracking the spread of the coronavirus in Belgium believe they became infected in the workplace, the results show.

The results stem from the ninth round of the online survey, during which 192 respondents declared to have taken a coronavirus test which came back positive and that they were certain or almost certain that they could identify the person who infected them.

The results of the survey showed that 51% of those respondents suspected they had caught the virus at their workplace.

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Households were the second place most commonly reported as a source of infection, with 24% of Covid-19-positive respondents saying they contracted the virus at home.

According to the survey's results, respondents who said they caught the virus at home were more likely to live in larger households.

"Only 10% of all infections were contracted in a store, according to the respondents," the researchers wrote.

Researchers also said that it was "striking" that health care workers made up 59 (60%) of the 98 respondents to say they contracted the virus at work.

Led jointly by the University of Antwerp, the University of Hasselt and KU Leuven University, the survey was launched in mid-March and has been carried out every Tuesday since then.

It aims to gather evidence on how the virus spreads among the population by polling people on their habits and response to the regulations throughout the pandemic.

Previous editions of the survey have found that people who say they have symptoms of the virus don't wear protection in public and that Belgians do not trust fellow residents to follow coronavirus rules.

Throughout the first eight rounds of the survey, researchers said that 2,117,834 surveys had been filled out and that nearly 100,000 respondents in Belgium still participated in the past few weeks.

"We therefore hope for enough new participants in round 10 so that we can refine our insights into these dynamics with a larger sample," the researchers wrote.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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