Coronavirus: sick Belgians do not self-isolate fast enough

Coronavirus: sick Belgians do not self-isolate fast enough
Only 20% of Belgians with symptoms immediately self-isolated. Credit: Pxfuel

Only about 20% of Belgians who showed symptoms of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) self-isolated before contacting their doctor, according to a survey conducted by the research and public health institute Sciensano.

Experts pointed out, during the daily press briefing by the Federal Public Health Service on Saturday, that this figure also means that 80% of people with symptoms do not immediately take their distance from others.

"People who wait for contact with a doctor before strict isolation are more likely to infect others, because the rate of contagion is higher in the first few days of infection," said professor and interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht.

People should self-isolate in their homes as soon as the first symptoms appear, in order to effectively fight against the further spread of the virus and infecting others. “Early isolation is crucial to stop the further spread of the virus,” he said.

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“70% of people who think they have symptoms, contacted their GP by phone, which is good," Van Gucht added.

The online survey was carried out among 44,000 people between 2 and 9 April, and also showed that 90% of the population believes that they are sufficiently informed about the virus, the measures in force, the symptoms and the spread of the coronavirus.

The second part of the survey, which can be filled out until 23 April, has also been launched and can be taken here.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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