- A man who dressed up as Santa Claus tested positive of Covid-19 three days after visiting a care home in Belgium.
- 75 elderly people and staff members eventually contracted the virus.
- Local officials and health experts have since criticized the irresponsible action of violating the mask mandate, along with social distancing rules.
Instead of spreading Christmas cheer, Santa Claus allegedly infected 75 people with Covid-19 during a care home visit in Belgium. This recently happened in Mol, Antwerp where Hemelrijck care home residents and staff members warmly welcomed a man dressed as Father Christmas.
According to a Daily Mail report, the volunteer tested positive of the coronavirus three days after the event. Officials immediately began testing in the care home after learning about his condition. Now people are blaming Santa for being a “superspreader” after 61 elderly people and 14 staff members ended up contracting the virus.
During his visit Santa and his helpers spent time chatting with the care home residents.
As Mol Mayor Wim Caeyers said during a media interview:
“It has been a very black day for the care home. It is a very great mental strain to bear for the man that played St Nicholas, as well as for the organizers and the staff.’
Although the care home claimed that they followed social distancing rules, the photos proved otherwise. Also, not everyone were masks.
“Initially [the care home] said that the rules had been followed,” added Caeyers, “but then straight away you receive photos from the families of residents where you can see that this wasn’t the case.’
The care home has since been labeled as “a totally irresponsible organization” by the mayor’s administration for putting people at risk.
Meanwhile, a respected virologist in the country said that Santa Claus may not entirely be at fault.
KU Leven University’s Marc Van Ranst remarked:
“Even for a super-spreader, these are too many infections at once.”
Despite that, he emphasized that having Santa Claus visit a care home during the pandemic is definitely a terrible idea.
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