Coronavirus: Infection confirmed in Flemish school
Tuesday, 03 March 2020
Schools will not be closed and lessons will not be suspended. Credit: Belga
At least one pupil in a Flemish school has been infected with the coronavirus (Covid-19), and a second one is still waiting for the test results, confirmed the Agency for Care and Health.
The Flemish magazine Klasse, published by the Flemish Ministry of Education, aimed at schools and parents, said in a newsletter that “there is confirmation of an infection in a Flemish school. The Agency for Care and Health initially said that there were two confirmed cases, but has since said that the infection of only one pupil has been confirmed, while the other is still waiting for confirmation.
The second student has been tested, and comes from a family where another infection has been diagnosed, but the test results have yet to be confirmed.
Virologist Marc Van Ranst said on VTM that those two (possible) infections are part of the five infections that were announced on Tuesday morning.
“We understand the unrest, but there is no reason to panic,” said spokesperson Joris Moonens to De Standaard.
Both schools are being contacted, and there will also be a contact survey to find out who the pupils have been in close contact with, and where they have been, but “no drastic measures will be taken,” said Moonens. “If there are reasons to take a child out of school, such as close contact with a patient, we will,” he added.
Schools will not be closed and classes will not be suspended. Other pupils and staff from the schools involved will still have to go to school, but remain alert for symptoms such as fever, coughing and feeling flu-like.
“There will undoubtedly be more cases like this in Flemish schools,” said Moonens, who emphasised that it is essential to remain calm, both among parents and staff.