Coronavirus barometer will not disappear immediately, says Vandenbroucke

Coronavirus barometer will not disappear immediately, says Vandenbroucke
Credit: Belga

The Consultative Committee will not be doing away with its coronavirus barometer just yet, Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke told a House committee on Wednesday.

The healthcare sector is still facing the difficulty of combining the care of Covid-19 and flu patients and catching up on care that had to be postponed over the past months.

"Our hospitals are still going through a difficult situation. For some, the beds are just full," Vandenbroucke said.

The Consultative Committee is set to meet again on Friday 25 March, when it is expected to examine the possibility of dropping the coronavirus barometer altogether, said Prime Minister Alexander De Croo at the previous meeting.

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Belgium switched to 'code yellow' on the barometer on Monday 7 March, meaning that nearly all coronavirus restrictions still in force at the time were lifted.

Currently, the face mask obligation for people from 12 years old is the only measure still in force, but only on public transport and in healthcare institutions, such as hospitals and residential care centres.

Yellow is the lightest code on the barometer, but when he introduced it at the start of the year, Corona Commissioner Pedro Facon made it clear that he expected a time when the tool would no longer be necessary.

"'Code green' would be when the barometer is not in force and no measures are needed at all. We are not there yet, but I do think we are entering a new phase," he said during a press briefing in January.

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