Measures don’t need to change, as long as we follow them – Maggie De Block
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Measures don’t need to change, as long as we follow them – Maggie De Block

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Federal Health Minister Maggie De Block has said that she believes the measures currently in place in Belgium are sufficient to control the coronavirus, as long as they are well respected.

De Block said that she is not in favour of a general returning to confinement across the country because part of the population grows weary with the current measures, she explained on Wednesday on the Flemish public radio.

The number of daily coronavirus infections is heading towards 1,000. “That’s a lot,” De Block said. “The virus is spreading faster again. In order to keep this curve under control, it is important that hygiene measures, physical distances and the wearing of masks are respected.”

While some are talking about possible stricter measures, De Block stressed that she believes a new containment, with no cultural or social life for the population, is not the appropriate course of action.

For her, the important thing now is to convince the population, who are tired of the current measures, of their usefulness. “The measures in place are sufficient to contain the virus, but they must be respected”.

“Every one of us can be part of the solution”

De Block’s comments mirror an announcement from Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès, who warned the population of the “worrying” rise in coronavirus infections, and urged everyone to take their responsibility before it is too late.

Speaking in a video on Tuesday, Wilmès urged that the latest figures must be taken seriously.

“Let us not forget that each and every one of us can be part of the solution. In fact, we are the solution,” Wilmès said, before repeating the golden rules that have been in force for several months now.

“It is essential to continue to respect the rules. Essential to protect our friends, our loved ones, our family,” she added. “It is now that we have to do it, before it is too late.”

No Change This Week

Despite several experts expressing their concerns about the rapid increase in new coronavirus cases in the country, there currently remains no plan for Belgium’s National Security Council to gather earlier than planned to adjust the current measures.

The next National Security Council remains on the agenda for the week of 21 September, as initially announced by Wilmès, and will not be held earlier, according to reports.

“But, the fight against the coronavirus has to be fought every day. We cannot wait for the next Security Council. Or new measures. It is essential that we make every effort every day to avoid having to take tougher measures,” she said.

“The future is in our hands. Now and for many months to come. And in order to succeed, everyone is essential. Take care of yourself and, above all, take care of each other.”

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times

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