Doctors in the Belgian city of Liège have been asked to keep working even if they have coronavirus amid a surge in cases and hospital admissions.
About a quarter of medical staff there are reportedly off sick with Covid-19.
Now 10 hospitals have requested that staff who have tested positive but do not have symptoms keep working.
The head of the Belgian Association of Medical Unions said they had no choice if they were to prevent the hospital system from collapsing within days.
Dr. Philippe Devos acknowledged that there was an obvious risk of transferring the virus to patients.
One in three people tested is coming back positive with the virus in the eastern Belgian city. Hospitals are transferring patients elsewhere and cancelling non-urgent surgeries, days after Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke warned the country was close to a “tsunami” of infections where authorities “no longer control what is happening”.
The decision comes as governments across Europe try to tackle fresh waves of coronavirus infections.
At a news conference on Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) officials suggested travel restrictions, stay-at-home orders, or even national lockdowns may be needed across the continent to tackle the fresh outbreaks.
“Right now we are well behind this virus in Europe, so getting ahead of it is going to take some serious acceleration in what we do,” warned WHO emergencies head Dr. Mike Ryan.
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