Brussels region will provide 'at least' one face mask per resident

Brussels region will provide 'at least' one face mask per resident
Volunteers sewing protective aprons and masks at the chapel of the Imelda hospital in Bonheiden, Antwerp, Friday 03 April 2020. © BELGA/ DIRK WAEM

If the use of face masks in public is officially recommended as the country begins to lift the lockdown, regional leaders in Brussels will provide at least one mask to each resident.

"If the National Security Council (NSC) recommends that the population wear face masks, the Brussels government considers it appropriate to provide each citizen with at least one reusable fabric mask," the region said in a statement, Bruzz reports.

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The NSC is set to meet on Friday to continue discussions on how to progressively lift the lockdown, with safety measures on public transport and a potential reopening of schools set to be on the table.

Public transport companies earlier this week said that they were looking to make face masks mandatory since a rise in commuter traffic would make it more difficult to ensure social-distancing is respected.

According to the statement, leaders of the Brussels-Capital Region would also ensure that health and care workers have the necessary equipment to protect patients, residents and caregivers.

"In view of the exit strategy, it is also important that all employees in the Brussels-Capital Region" have access to protective material too, the statement read.

Regional health agency Iriscare would be charged with centralising "orders for material" for the care and health sectors but also other institutions in need of medical equipment.

The news comes after several municipalities in Brussels began taking matters into their own hands and implementing solutions to ensure sufficient availability of face masks, with several working with volunteers for production and distribution.

The region also provided support to a joint initiative by local businesses who began producing mouth masks by hand, a project which is set to continue.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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