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Hospitals use outdoor lifts to enable visits to Covid-19 patients

12:05 08/05/2020

Geel Hospital in Antwerp province found a novel way to allow friends and family to visit Covid-19 patients. Lift operators raised two visitors at a time up to the patient’s window.

The 30 patients chosen to receive visitors had been in the hospital for multiple weeks. To allow them to finally see loved ones, the hospital arranged visits with lift personnel.

Two visitors were allowed on the platform, together with an operator. They could then talk to the patient on the phone while seeing them through the window. Each visit lasted 30 minutes.

“We wanted to give hope to patients who have not had visitors in a long time,” said hospital spokesperson Josti Gadeyne. “The lift operators worked completely for free to put a little joy into these families’ lives.”

A nursing home in Antwerp also made headlines last month doing the same for its residents. There is good news, however, for nursing home residents in Belgium: They may receive a visitor starting on 18 May.

Every rest home resident is allowed to choose a visitor, and only that person will be allowed to visit until restrictions are further relaxed. One visit of about 30 minutes every week is allowed and must take place either outside or in a room set off for the purpose.

Visitors must wear a facemask and both the visitor and resident must not have had any symptoms of the coronavirus for the last 14 days. Visitors may not bring gifts, flowers or anything else to the resident, and they must practice social distancing or be separated by Plexiglas.

Visits can only take place in homes in which all of the residents and staff have been tested for the coronavirus. The visits are not a requirement; every nursing home can decide for itself if it feels the time is right to allow visitors or not.

Photo ©Yorick Jansens/BELGA

Written by Flanders Today