Belgian cemeteries prepare for the worst over swine flu

4th August 2009, Comments 1 comment

Cities and towns in Belgium have been asked to prepare their cemeteries for an expected rise in deaths due to swine flu, a regional official has announced, following the recording of the first fatality.

BRUSSELS - "Without wanting to cause any alarm, it is our duty to prepare for the worst," an official with the crisis centre in the Walloon regional government told AFP, adding that he hoped "this scenario doesn't arise".

"We have asked the municipalities to dig graves in advance, to avoid any problems that might be posed by frost in the winter," he said.

"We must avoid any painful, unforeseen problems for the families," he added.

On Thursday, a 34-year-old woman became the first Belgian to die due to the effects of the A(H1N1) virus, contracting a double pneumonia sparked by the potentially deadly illness.

More than 800 people have been killed around the globe by the A(H1N1) virus, which first surfaced in Mexico in April, and the World Health Organisation has warned that the pandemic is now unstoppable.

Deaths have now been recorded in five European nations: Belgium, Britain, France, Hungary and Spain.

Recent statistics show that some 700 cases have surfaced in Belgium since April 27, with 600 of them discovered in the last two-and-a-half weeks.


1 Comment To This Article

  • ahabse7en posted:

    on 4th August 2009, 08:33:17 - Reply

    They've had one fatality and they announce an initiative equivalent of thinking they'll get a brain tumor when all they really have is a headache.
    I know it shouldn't be taken lightly but isn't there some other way they could have let the public know they should expect a few more deaths rather than "reassure" the public with this Addams-family-esque venture.