Contact tracing will be ‘at full capacity’ on 11 May in Flanders
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    Contact tracing will be ‘at full capacity’ on 11 May in Flanders

    Credit: Belga

    Flanders will have the tracing capacity it needs on 11 May, Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon told the Flemish Parliament on Wednesday, adding that he “can vouch for it.”

    The tracing of people who are infected with the new coronavirus (Covid-19) and the people they have been in contact with is one of the conditions for the deconfinement. The regions are responsible for this matter, which should begin on 4 May, when a number of companies will resume their activities, before the shops reopen on 11 May.

    Flanders is looking for 1,200 people to carry out this tracing. The call for tenders for the appointment of an external consultant had to be rewritten following remarks by the Finance Inspectorate which made it necessary to start the procedure again, acknowledged Flemish Minister for Welfare Minister Wouter Beke on Wednesday.

    “4 May is very close, and we have the impression that Flanders is not ready,” Hannelore Goeman of the socialist party said in the Parliament.

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    However, a test phase can begin on 4 May, before the tracing will be “at full capacity” on 11 May, Jambon said.

    “Do not alarm the population unnecessarily, because it is really not necessary. As a public authority, we take our responsibility, we respect our obligations and we will get out of this crisis. In spite of the opposition, we will make it,” Jambon said.

    Brussels announced a similar plan on Wednesday, saying that they will start a test phase on 4 May, before expecting to be fully operational the week after, on 11 May, when the shops reopen.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times