The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc in Europe – with a man dressed up as Santa Claus now found to be behind a worrying outbreak in Belgium.
There are now 75 cases linked to the Hemelrijck aged-care home in the Belgian town of Mol just days after the "superspreader" Santa attended to spread some Christmas cheer.
The man, dressed as Saint Nicholas, attended the home last weekend, going on to infect 14 staff members and 61 residents less than a week later.
The mayor of Mol Wim Caeyers told Belgian news site VRT News it was a "very dark day for the care home".
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"It will be all hands on deck during the coming week," Caeyers said.
"It was made with the best intent, but it went wrong. It has been a very dark day for the care home. It is a very great mental strain to bear for the man that played Saint Nicholas, as well as for the organisers and the staff".
The aged-care home initially said masks were worn by the residents and staff but photos later showed they were not.
"Initially they said that the rules had been followed, but then straight away you receive photos from the families of residents where you can see that this wasn't the case," Caeyers said.
Those who have coronavirus at the home are suffering mild to moderate symptoms, reports said.
Healthcare workers from Antwerp Province and Red Cross employees have been sent in to bring the outbreak under control.