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Coronavirus: Belgium applauds frontline workers

13:37 19/03/2020

Belgium is showing its support for frontline workers by applauding and encouraging their efforts during the coronavirus crisis.

Thousands of people took to their balconies, terraces and windows on Wednesday evening in a movement that is spreading across the country via social media.

Citizens confined to their home are invited to make some noise every evening at 20.00 to encourage hospital staff and other emergency service workers on the frontline of the coronavirus response.

Brussels’ fire service spokesperson Walter Derieuw said people showed their support for the ambulance services last night from their balconies in Avenue de l’Heliport, near the city’s central fire station.

Belgian Red Cross spokesperson Nancy Ferroni said ambulance staff had reported numerous signs of support and encouragement when going about their work. “These actions particularly touch our healthcare staff. A restaurant owner also brought dishes for Red Cross paramedics on Tuesday evening,” she said.

A spokesperson for CHU Saint-Pierre - the go-to place for coronavirus treatment in Brussels - added that the hospital was benefitting from considerable support from the population, including offers to make masks, restaurateurs proposing meals, artists decorating wards and scouts bringing in tents for the emergency unit.

The movement, which started in Italy, France and Spain, is being promoted on Facebook and Instagram under the banner #bravopourlessoins and #applausvoordezorg

Written by Sarah Crew