Healthcare staff given incorrect instructions on face mask use
Share article:
Share article:

Healthcare staff given incorrect instructions on face mask use

Credit: Stock image/Pixabay

Health care staff in Belgium were given instructions on the use of face masks which clashed with safety recommendations from top international health authorities.

Official guidelines from federal public health institute Sciensano published in March said that health professionals could wear a face mask for up to eight hours and wear it around the neck.

The guidelines were altered weeks later but, according to De Morgen, health care professionals were not notified of the change.

Related News:


In March, Sciensano said that the masks could be “worn around the neck, but never in the pocket,” De Morgen reports, in guidelines issued not only to hospital workers but to staff in nursing homes and other health care professionals working through the pandemic.

But in an email seen by the outlet, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Europe director Hans Kluge says that wearing a mask around the neck and putting it back on was risky because it required manipulating the mask, the outside of which could be infected.

“While it is theoretically safe, after hand-washing, to place a used medical mask under the chin or around the neck, it is not possible to put the used medical mask back on (…) without touching the used mask and the face,” he wrote. 

He said that the mishandling of masks may have led to infections among health care workers, according to De Morgen.

While Belgium’s Superior Health Council said that the recommendation was removed on 16 April, the outlet reports that regional authorities were not notified of the change.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Heirs of Michael Jackson demand that Belgian radio show ‘King of Pop’ changes name
The heirs of American pop singer Michael Jackson have demanded that a Belgian radio programme, called "King of Pop" changes its name, their lawyers ...
More than one billion coronavirus vaccines exported by EU
The European Union (EU) has exported more than one billion coronavirus vaccines globally over the past ten months, of which just under one-tenth was ...
SNCB brings free little libraries to stations
The Belgian railway company SNCB is adding free little libraries to its stations. The “book boxes,” as they’re called, allow passengers to grab a ...
Belgium in Brief: What Is Bouncing Back?
What do you think of when you think of a country "bouncing back" after a crisis?  Cambridge Dictionary says it is "to start to be successful again ...
Café patron stabs manager after being asked to see proof of vaccination
A customer stabbed a café manager in Brussels on Saturday after being asked to show his Covid Safe Ticket (CST), according to Bruzz. Asking to see ...
Belgium to simplify administrative processes with ‘digital wallet’
The federal government wants to create an online "wallet" for all people living in Belgium which would bundle all official documents, from visas to ...
‘Start of infection wave’: Flanders to turn red on European map again
Flanders will turn red on the map of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) again this week, as the daily average of new ...
Staff strike at application centre for asylum seekers
The staff of an application centre for asylum seekers in Brussels began a 24-strike on Monday morning, meaning that no one can apply for asylum there ...
Bpost plans to merge parcel and letter services in Belgium
The new CEO of Bpost – Belgium's primary mail delivery company and one of the country's largest civilian employers – has decided to merge the ...
Belgian playground bullying drama wins at London Film Festival
Playground (original title 'Un Monde'), the first feature film by Belgian director Laura Wandel, was awarded the top prize in the First Feature ...
Will Brussels bounce back?
The lockdowns have tested the city and forced it to confront key questions about its future. Derek Blyth looks back at an extraordinary moment in our ...
Brussels launches initiatives to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety
Two new initiatives are being developed in Brussels to make the city safer and more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly, especially around key areas on ...