Belgium in Brief: Coronavirus Isn’t Done

Belgium in Brief: Coronavirus Isn’t Done
Credit: Belga/VTM

As life begins to ease and people return to a way of life they knew before, it would be easy to think that the past months of confinement mean we are now free from coronavirus.

Experts want to stress, however, that is far from the case.

Beaches in Belgium heave with tourists, borders open, bars flood with people – but we still need to be careful. Across Europe second waves of infections are beginning to pop up again, and – according to one expert – Belgium is likely not far behind.

As for travelling out of the country, Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst has been quick to point out some flaws were infections to spread again. “Suppose you were to require a test or a quarantine, that would be impossible. The government does not know where everyone is,” he said, adding keeping track of people returning by car is almost not possible.

Even at the very base of things, there is still uncertainty that the world is totally sure of how the virus spreads, after more than 230 scientists from 32 different countries signed an open letter to the World Health Organisation (WHO) disputing the official view on how the coronavirus Covid-19 can be spread by aerosol.

It might seem like the only thing we have spoken about for months, but there’s every chance that it could keep going.

With so much information, and so little time to catch up before it potentially changes again, here are some of the top stories from around the country to get you up to speed.

Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:

1. Coronavirus will re-emerge in Belgium soon, expert warns

It won’t be long before the new coronavirus re-emerges in Belgium, according to microbiologist Herman Goossens. As more and more countries begin to see a resurgence of the virus, Belgium should be considering its plan of action for the future. Read more here.

2. Tourist travel should not be allowed yet, says Marc Van Ranst

After two regions in Spain have been placed back into lockdown, Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst stressed that going on holiday abroad should not be allowed yet.

“You already know that there will be similar hot-spots all summer,” Van Ranst told VRT. “Now, it is a non-tourist region, but what if it is a city or a popular holiday resort?” Read more.

3.  Belgian infections continue to decrease

An average of 85.1 people per day tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium, according to figures by the Federal Public Health Service on Monday.

The total number of confirmed cases in Belgium, since the beginning of the pandemic, is 62,016. The total reflects all people in Belgium who have been infected, and includes confirmed active cases as well as patients who have since recovered, or died from the consequences of the virus. Read More.

4. Belgium urged to lift travel restrictions for cross-borders couples

Member of the European Parliament Moritz Körner has urged Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès to introduce measures allowing couples in different countries to see each other, despite the travel restrictions.

“[Partners] are not allowed to be together in these times because their loved ones do not have EU citizenship and no official marital status,” Körner wrote in a letter to Wilmès.

“In times when they are most needed, couples cannot be there for each other because most Member States prevent them from entering the European Union. This has to end,” he added. Read More.

5. More than 200 scientists dispute WHO theory on Covid-19 transmission

More than 230 scientists from 32 different countries have signed an open letter to the World Health Organisation (WHO) disputing the official view on how the coronavirus Covid-19 can be spread by aerosol.

The official view of Covid-19 transmission supports two methods: droplets of saliva from an infected person produced during coughing or sneezing, which are then inhaled by someone else in the vicinity; and particles picked up from surfaces contaminated by such droplets, and then introduced to eyes, nose or mouth by someone else. Read more.

6. No suspects arrested after deadly shooting in Brussels on Sunday

The Brussels public prosecutor’s office confirmed that during the night from Saturday to Sunday, around midnight, several shots were fired on the Place Orban in the Brussels commune of Forest.

One man, born in 1997, died on the spot. Initial reports presumed the man was a minor.

“Two others were wounded by the shots, the two victims were born in 2001 and 2003,” said Denis Goeman, spokesperson of the Brussels Public Prosector’s office, adding that an investigating judge has been put on the case, on the grounds of murder and attempted murder. Read more.

7. Rock Werchter confirms 21 names for 2021 festival

In an announcement made on Sunday, Belgium’s rock festival confirmed 21 artists that will be playing at the 2021 edition. For the full list, click here.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times

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