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Belgium readies launch of ‘coronavirus barometer’

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A Covid-19 barometer which will enable Belgium to fine-tune measures against the coronavirus pandemic is expected to be ready by Tuesday, the prime minister said.

The barometer announced by authorities in the latest National Security Council (NSC) will use a colour-coded system to grade the epidemiological situation at a national, provincial and regional level.

Speaking in a radio interview on Tuesday, Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès said that the barometer was “almost ready” and should be launched on Tuesday.

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“The barometer will be an instrument allowing to keep better track of the evolution of the epidemic and to roll out a set of adapted measures accordingly,” Wilmès said.

The system is being devised by the Celeval expert’s cell and will aim to guide authorities at different levels of government to tailor measures to fight the coronavirus to the epidemic situation in their area.

The barometer will namely gather and centralise data on the number of people coming to their family doctor with respiratory problems, so as to allow health officials and authorities to keep track, in order to foresee a rise in hospitalisations and allow health workers to prepare accordingly, La Libre reports.

Despite Wilmès’ comments at the weekend, disagreements remain about the effective date of release of the barometer remains a point of contention, with one official saying that it could be delayed further amid disagreements within the Celeval.

“If the barometer does not arrive tomorrow, it is only because Celeval did not finish on time,” the official, which chose to remain anonymous, told De Morgen.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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