Seven residents of a nursing home in Belgium, who had all been vaccinated against Covid-19, have died after being infected with a lineage of the coronavirus first detected in Colombia, officials said Friday.
The virology team that conducted the tests said the residents had been infected with the B.1.621 lineage of Covid-19 that originated in Colombia. In recent weeks it has been detected in the United States, where it now accounts for 2 percent of all coronavirus infections, but cases in Europe have been rare.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has listed the B1.621 lineage as part of the Kappa variant of the coronavirus, but not as a variant itself.
Kathleen Boydens, medical manager at the Ter Burg nursing home said that at first, the infected residents of the nursing home in Zaventem, near Brussels, experienced only mild symptoms, “but after two weeks, from July 24, symptoms got a lot worse”.
All seven victims were in their 80s or 90s, and some of them were already in a poor physical condition.
In all, 21 residents were infected with the variant along with several members of staff but who experienced only mild symptoms.