Epidemiologist wonders whether latest relaxations caused rise in infections

Epidemiologist wonders whether latest relaxations caused rise in infections
Credit: Belga

Epidemiologist Pierre Van Damme wonders whether the current increase in coronavirus (Covid-19) infections could be brought back to the previous relaxation of measures, which went into force on 1 July.

These relaxations included closer contact with 15 people per week, an increase of five compared to before. The Council also allowed for the reopening of swimming pools, wellness centres, amusement parks, casinos and gaming halls, along with other measures.

“Question is: does it have to do with that,” he asked on Tuesday on the Dutch-speaking Radio 1. “That will have to be clarified via contact tracing. What is the common denominator of these new cases?”

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The contact tracing needs to be urgently sped up, according to Van Damme. “It is now all hands on deck to ensure that we get this under control, by the time that people return from a period abroad,” he said.

The government does intend to speed up its tracing process, aiming to have a real-time database by the end of August.

New relaxations of coronavirus measures should be handled with caution, Van Damme warned ahead of the next National Security Council meeting on Wednesday to discuss further steps in the relaxations of the measures taken to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Jason Spinks

The Brussels Times

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