Brussels European Schools urge pupils, staff to remain home amid coronavirus outbreak
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    Brussels European Schools urge pupils, staff to remain home amid coronavirus outbreak

    The European School Campus in Laeken, one of six in Brussels. Credit: European School in Laeken

    European Schools in Brussels have asked staff and students with a risk of having been exposed to the new coronavirus to not come to any of the four campuses.

    “Any children returning from such areas, as well as children whose close family members have returned from these areas should be admitted to the European schools only 14 days after their return date and on the condition that the whole family remains asymptomatic,” the school said.

    The announcement was posted online by the office of the school’s secretary-general following news that a second confirmed case of the new coronavirus had been confirmed in Antwerp on Saturday.

    Staff members were also advised to avoid travelling to the affected areas and were urged to comply to the same isolation recommendations if they had.

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    The school noted that the Covid-19 coronavirus led to a “milder disease than initially feared” for the majority of the population, adding that children in particular “seem to only have mild symptoms.”

    “Given the age and health characteristics of European Schools staff and pupils, it is likely that in the majority of cases, those affected will probably develop mild, self-limited disease for a few days and then quickly recover,” the statement read, urging those concerned by it to comply.

    The “red areas” referred to in the statement concern several regions in northern Italy which have been put on lockdown following the fast-paced spread of the Covid-19 outbreak since it first hit the country in late February.

    The measures concern the European Schools’ four campuses in Brussels, which are located in Uccle, Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, Ixelles and Laeken.

    In a joint press conference by federal and regional authorities on Monday, federal health secretary, Maggie De Block, confirmed that the number of Covid-19 cases in Belgium was now eight, including a family of three.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times