Belgium is testing sewage on planes from COVID-hit China

Brussels: Belgium will test sewage from planes arriving from China for new COVID variants as part of new steps against the spread of the coronavirus as infections rise in China, the government announced.

“This will be an additional surveillance objective to verify that the data we are getting from China is correct,” Steven Van Gucht of Sciensano’s National Institute for Public Health told Reuters on Monday (Brussels time).

air transport and airplane toilet warning satdec14wonders

air transport and airplane toilet warning satdec14wondersCredit:one

He said Belgium is aware that some COVID-infected passengers may not use the toilet during their flights and therefore the new measure “is not intended to track people but to independently track what is happening in China”.

Belgium is also asking travelers from China to test for COVID-19 if they show symptoms seven days after arrival, but will not enforce this measure.

At a press conference announcing the new measures, Belgian Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke said an EU-wide policy against China’s COVID surge was needed.

EU health officials will hold talks on a coordinated response on Wednesday.

Belgium Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke.

Belgium Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke.Credit:AP

Authorities around the world are imposing or considering restrictions on travelers from China, including mandatory testing for COVID, as infections spread there following Beijing’s relaxation of “zero-COVID” rules.

Reuters Belgium is testing sewage on planes from COVID-hit China

Callan Tansill

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