Belgium’s government instructed citizens to wash their hands as an adequate defense against the novel coronavirus. Meanwhile, the country’s sizable refugee population received high-quality protective masks.
Minister of Health and Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Maggie De Block placed an order for over $30,000 worth of surgical masks for the Klein Kasteeltje center for asylum seekers while simultaneously appearing on several television programs to push government’s official recommendation that washing hands was an adequate defense against the potentially deadly virus.
And only one of those – masks – is a comprehensive, CDC-approved defense against coronavirus.
While the massive mask order could certainly be viewed as a protective measure considering many refugees could have been exposed to the virus and hail from countries with significantly less developed healthcare systems, it begs the question as to why the government is allowing refugees in in the first place, let alone during a global pandemic.
And the Belgian government already has enough Coronavirus-induced crises to grapple with: at the time of writing, Belgium is about to surpass 1,500 cases of Coronavirus and reach nearly 20 deaths.
The country is also facing a severe shortage of masks after placing an order for five million from a fraudulent Turkish supplier, compelling “very concerned” medical professionals to implore citizens to donate personal masks and protective gear to hospitals nationwide.