Death toll from Covid-infected Santa's visit to care home rises to 27

THE death toll from a Covid-infected Father Christmas’s visit to a care home has now risen to at least 27.

Residents of the Hemelrijck care home near Antwerp, Belgium, were still in isolation last night.

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Cases began to soar after Santa’s visit on December 5.

The spreader tested positive for coronavirus after officials at the home noticed a spike in cases.

Pictures showed the white-bearded man — not yet named — sitting close to elderly residents.

The home said: “We offer our sincere condolences to the family members.

"Hemelrijck acknowledges that communication with family members has not always gone smoothly in recent weeks.

"As a team, we are doing our utmost to improve this.”

They added: "The number of infections diagnosed among residents has stabilized at 85. Of the 130 employees, a total of 40 tested positive.

"More and more infected residents with disease symptoms are improving.’‘

Belgium has one of the highest per capita coronavirus death tolls in the world, and more than half of the deceased – 11,066 people – were retirement home residents.

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