Coronavirus: don't risk losing the summer, experts warn

Coronavirus: don't risk losing the summer, experts warn
Summer bar Gisèle in the La Cambre Abbey in Ixelles © Bruxelles Environnement

Belgium must resist the temptation to go outside excessively in the nice weather, or risk the coronavirus spread in the country extending over the summer, several experts have warned.

"If we want to save the summer, we have to stay inside now," said Marc Van Ranst, Steven Van Gucht, Geert Meyfroidt and Erika Vlieghe Wednesday evening in VTM News.

While the measures to stem the spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) appear to be paying off, it's still too early to celebrate.

"Just like in all Belgian hospitals, people in my hospital are also working very hard at the moment," said Geert Meyfroidt. "We have a lot of patients that we can take care of, with an influx that we can handle thanks to all your efforts over the past few weeks. Now, it is important to persevere if we want to save the summer, but also if we want to avoid a new peak," he added.

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"We are trying to come up with strategies that will allow all of you, and us, to leave our homes safely. But while waiting for that, please, stay in or around your homes," said Erika Vlieghe. "Not in the streets, not in the woods or the parks. We are seeing way too many people on the streets and that is dangerous for the transmission of Covid-19," she added.

"If we still want to enjoy the summer, we have to do our best now," said Marc Van Ranst. "But remember this: it's going to be okay."

The call came from virologists Marc Van Ranst and Steven Van Gucht, Geert Meyfroidt, the chairman of the Belgian Society for Intensive Medicine, and Erika Vlieghe, head of infectious diseases at the UZ Antwerpen and chairman of the Group of Experts in charge of the Exit Strategy (GEES).

Jules Johnston & Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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