Migrant children infected with coronavirus are being sent to schools by Belgium's federal asylum agency, according to reports.
Hundreds of migrants were relocated to an air base in Koksijde, Belgium, earlier this year, despite the protestations of Mayor Marc Vanden Bussche and his constituents.
At the onset of the coronavirus crisis, Mayor Vanden Bussche requested that planned refugee resettlement at the base be delayed, but he was denied by Fedasil, the federal agency for the reception of asylum seekers, SCEPTR reports.
Fedasil also refused to administer coronavirus tests to incoming migrants, saying it would be a "form of discrimination," according to Vanden Bussche.
Now there is a coronavirus outbreak at the asylum facility.
"It is unbelievable that Fedasil does not understand why it is so important that all residents of the center are tested," Vanden Bussche told KW.
“In the asylum center, people have already tested positive for COVID-19, and it makes sense that I ask that everyone there be tested, especially when they want to send children to our schools.”
In light of the outbreak, Vanden Bussche ordered that no migrant should leave the air base without being tested for coronavirus first.
Fedasil ignored his mandate, sending migrant children to local schools.
Two of the children have since tested positive for the virus.
“Precisely because I want to avoid any risk of corona contamination, it was decided that no resident should leave the reception center until they have been tested for corona. Now it has become clear that Fedasil has sent children to our schools, behind my back," Vanden Bussche said.
"Fortunately, the director notified me. Two children were tested and both proved positive."
“I am really bothered that Fedasil continues to deny that there could be a problem and that they do not respect the mayor's decision," he continued. "My only aim is to keep the center corona-free. The municipality even proposed to pay for all corona tests. I am now waiting for a response from Public Health, but if this is not resolved soon, I will go to court. In the meantime, there will be stricter police supervision at the reception center.”
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