Belgian prison in lockdown after major COVID-19 outbreak

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A Belgian prison has been placed under quarantine and inmates have been confined to their cells after more than half of them tested positive for COVID-19, authorities said Saturday.

In addition to the more than half of the 132 inmates who tested positive, around 60 out of 115 staff at the Namur prison in southeastern Belgium have also been infected since a first case was discovered early last week.


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One detainee was hospitalized and the situation is considered “very serious,” said prison administration spokeswoman Kathleen De Vijver.

Hygiene products are being distributed to inmates and they receive one hot meal per day, but walks and visits are not permitted and they can no longer access the shower rooms.

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The more contagious British variant of the coronavirus is now dominant in Belgium, where authorities called on Friday for “very great caution” as signs of a rebound in the pandemic emerged.

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