Superspreader Santa infects more than 75 people with COVID-19 at aged care home in Belgium

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Superspreader Santa infects more than 75 people with COVID-19 at aged care home in Belgium

A man from Belgium who dressed up as Santa Claus to spread joy and happiness ended up being labelled as super spreader after inadvertently infecting 75 people at an old age home with COVID-19.

Just three days after the visit man who dressed as Santa Clause tested positive for coronavirus. As soon as the authorities were informed, they started testing the residents and employees of the care home and found out 14 staff members and  61 residents had tested positive for the coronavirus, one of which required oxygen support for breathing.

This incident happened in Mol, whose Mayor, Wim Caeyers, has personally started looking into the matter and described it as an event that was "made with the best intent, but it went wrong. It is a very great mental strain to bear for the man that played Saint Nicholas, as well as for the organisers and the staff.”

The infected resident are showing mild to moderate symptoms. Local media has reported the man had visited several common areas of the building such as the sitting room. Initially they claim the Santa kept his distance from the residents and wore a face covering. The residents also wore face coverings. However, the photos and videos that surfaced online show a few residents without any masks, the mayor claimed.

The care home authorities have expressed shock at the incident, but have also assured that they will be getting the virus out of the home soon. "The team is very shocked by what happened, but also makes them very motivated to get the virus out again," Jannes Verheyen, a spokesperson for Armonea, the firm which runs the home, told a local media house.

As of now, Belgium has more than 41,600 active coronavirus cases with a total of 17,951 fatalities. The total number of COVID-19 infected people in the Belgium has crossed 600,000.