In One Nation, Infected Doctors Are Asked to Keep Working

Overwhelmed Belgium needs asymptomatic medical workers to continue treating people
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2020 11:52 AM CDT
In One Nation, Infected Doctors Are Asked to Keep Working
A police officer confronts a man during a protest against COVID-19 restrictions in Milan on Monday.   (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

A sign of how bad things are in Belgium in regard to COVID-19: Doctors and nurses who've tested positive but have no symptoms are being asked to continue working in some overwhelmed hospitals, reports the Washington Post. "The situation is catastrophic," says an ICU doctor in the hard-hit city of Liege. Hospitalizations are up 87% in the nation over the past week as the nation heads toward what the health minister refers to as a "tsunami" of cases. "A major issue is the risk of the collapse of the hospital system of our country," says the minister-president of Brussels. Elsewhere around the world:

  • Czech Republic: Belgium's infection rate is five times higher than that of the US and second only to the Czech Republic's in the European Union. The rolling average of daily Czech cases is now 115 per 100,000 people, up from 48 per 100,000 just two weeks ago, per the AP. The government is asking Parliament to extend a state of emergency for another month, to Dec. 3.

  • Russia: Vladimir Putin's government is reinstating a national mask mandate starting Wednesday, reports the Moscow Times. Residents must wear them in all crowded places, including public transport. The government also is recommending that restaurants and all late-night venues close from 11pm to 6am. Russia has more than 1.5 million cases and set a daily record of more than 17,000 daily cases on Monday.
  • Italy: Numbers are surging in Italy, too, and a new round of government restrictions was met with widespread protests in several cities overnight, reports the BBC. The government has ordered bars, restaurants, gyms, and movie theaters to shut down, and it imposed nighttime curfews in some regions.
  • Iran: This nation is recording a COVID death every four minutes, reports Reuters. Because of a surge in cases, the closure of schools, mosques, restaurants, etc., in Tehran and other cities has been extended through Nov. 20. More than 32,000 have died in Iran, and the number of cases exceeds 570,000.
(More COVID-19 stories.)

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