Asylum seekers in Belgium will be screened for coronavirus
Wednesday, 04 March 2020
The screenings are a preventive measure. Credit: Belga
People applying for asylum in Belgium will receive a medical check-up when entering Fedasil’s centres, meant to screen them for the coronavirus (Covid-19).
Asylum seekers, like other travellers, could be carrying the coronavirus from high-risk areas to Belgium. They are being checked for the virus as soon as they arrive in Brussels, Minister for Asylum and Migration Maggie De Block confirmed to Bruzz.
“If someone claims to be ill, or has a fever and has travelled through or comes from a high-risk area, that person will be given a mouth mask and taken to an isolation room with their family members,” said Jelle Boone, a spokesperson for Minister De Block, to Bruzz, adding that the screenings are a preventive measure.
The Fedasil reception centres use the same procedures. “Any person who meets the Belgian criteria for a suspicious case of coronavirus is placed in isolation with a mouth mask. We then take them to a nearby hospital for further diagnosis,” they said.
Closing the borders to keep migrants who could be infected with the coronavirus out of the country will not help, said several experts to De Standaard.