18 killed as 121 people explode while visiting Govt-affected Santa to maintain house in Belgium
- Santa was greeted at the care home of 150 residents in Antwerp, Mol
- Three days after he tested positive for Govt-19, fears erupted in the care home
- Santa is said to be full of grief, calling the mayor ‘completely irresponsible’ to the house
About 18 care home residents have now died of the corona virus since the victim Santa Claus arrived in Belgium.
Cinderella and her agents, known as the Sword Beat (‘Black Beat’), affected 121 residents and 36 employees at the Hemelrijk care home in Antwerp, Mol earlier this month.
Pictures of the man dressed as St. Nicholas were released two weeks ago, and the ‘superspreader’ has been blamed for the rising death toll in the house.
Five more five-year-old residents died on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and at least one was given oxygen treatment.
The father tested positive for Kovit-19 three days after Christmas and prompted health officials to test him at home.
A Cinderella-clad volunteer welcomes 150 residents of the Hemelrijk Care Home in Antwerp, Mol to spread the Christmas cheer (pictured: Santa and his Swordte Beat (‘Black Beat’) helpers enjoying grape wine and oranges at home)
The house said the community-distance was being observed, but Cinderglass was standing too close to the elderly occupants.
Santa and his assistants chat with residents of the care home. His aides are black-faced and dressed as the controversial traditional character Swordte Beat (‘Black Beat’) in some parts of the Netherlands and Belgium.
The mayor of Mol Wim Gears told local media: ‘We look forward to ten tough days. It has been a very dark day for the care home.
Who is ‘Black Beat’?
Santa’s supporting role first appeared in an 1850 book written by John Schenkman, an Amsterdam school teacher.
Sword fiat painters usually wear blackface makeup and colorful Renaissance costumes, curly wigs, red lipstick and earrings.
Protesters say such depictions promote racist stereotypes, while supporters defend the white-bearded, red-roped Dutch version of St. Nicholas’ Cinderella’s aides as a traditional child character.
‘The man who played St. Nicholas, the organizers and the staff had to endure a great deal of stress.’
But pictures of the event showed that not all residents were wearing masks and that Santa and his little helpers were standing within two meters of the elderly.
Mr Kears said: ‘In the beginning [the care home] Said that the rules have been followed, but immediately you get photos from the families of the residents, you can see that this is not the case. ‘
His management called the care home a ‘completely irresponsible organization’.
The mayor said bringing the virus under control would be “on all hands” with local health workers, the Red Cross and the governor of Antwerp following Sunday’s crisis talks.
A spokesman for Harmonia, the company that manages the house, said: ‘The team is shocked at what happened, but it makes them more motivated to get the virus out again.
However, one of Belgium’s top virologists has expressed suspicion that the Santa Claus volunteer may have caused so many infections.
Mark von Ronst of KU Louvain University said: ‘Even for a super-spreader, these are multiple infections at once.’
Father Christmas talks to an elderly resident. She and his assistant stand two meters away from her
Hemelrijk Care Home in Antwerp, Mol, run by Harmonia
The number of daily epidemics in Belgium has increased in recent days, to 2,762 on Saturday and a further 4,978 on Sunday.
He believes poor ventilation is the cause and that CO2 measurements should be taken by local health officials.
Nevertheless, he said that Santa’s visit during epidemics was a ‘stupid idea’.
Belgium has the worst corona virus deaths per million population in the world.
There were 2,342 new corona virus cases reported in the country on Christmas Day, of which 51 died.
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