October 26, 2020 at 4:42 AM EDT
Covid-19 surge in Belgium leads to shortage of doctors, teachers and police
By Quentin Ariès and Michael Birnbaum
BRUSSELS — Well into Europe’s second wave of the coronavirus, so many Belgians are sick or quarantining that there aren’t enough police on the streets, teachers in classrooms or medical staff in hospitals.
In some hospitals, doctors and nurses who have tested positive but don’t have symptoms are being asked to keep working, because so many others are out sick with covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. School principals are marshaling secretaries and parent volunteers to replace falling ranks of teachers.
“We have runaway numbers in terms of contamination, and a major issue is the risk of the collapse of the hospital system of our country,” the minister president of Brussels, Rudi Vervoort, said Saturday as he announced a host of new restrictions.