Experts urge National Security Council to meet more often
Saturday, 25 July 2020
Waiting until Friday for the next National Security Council (NSC) meeting is not a good idea, several experts warned.
“Right now, the situation needs to be assessed daily, starting this weekend,” infectious disease speicalist Erika Vlieghe, who chairs the Group of Experts for an Exit Strategy (GEES), stressed on Friday.
Vlieghe and biostatistician Geert Molenberghs both stressed that time is running out and emphasized once again that contact between people needs to be reduced if Belgium wants to avoid a new spike in coronavirus (Covid-19) infections.
However, the NSC decided on Thursday to keep the cap on the number of persons allowed to gather in public at 15, whereas the experts advocated reducing it to 10.
Molenberghs noted on Friday that, according to the different models he and his colleagues have developed, the second wave of COVID-19 in Belgium will be worse than the first. “All the meteorological models forecast bad weather,” he said.
However, he added, “we have the possibility of having some influence on the virus through our behaviour, for example by voluntarily limiting our contacts as much as possible.”
Doctors in Antwerp, where the infections are rising significantly, have also called for people to self-confine in order to limit the damage of a second wave.
Health Minister Maggie De Block has also said that she wants the NSC to meet earlier, pleading for a meeting at the beginning of the week “to assess the situation and possibly take further action.”