Belgium bids bye-bye to belated barometer is the kind of alliteration generally saved for a Dr Seuss book, but today it’s just the news.
It feels like we’ve been reporting on an imminent coronavirus barometer forever, but that’s over for now. Let’s look at how we got here.
On Monday 28 September, a Covid-19 barometer which would enable Belgium to fine-tune measures against the coronavirus pandemic was expected to be ready by Tuesday, then prime minister Sophie Wilmès said.
Today, the back and forward came to an end. “That barometer was brought up at a time when we believed that we could relax in steps and, that if the crisis hit us again, we could tighten up in steps again. In the meantime, we have learned the lesson that, unfortunately, it is not that simple,” Vandenbroucke said.
So, what else in the news? Let’s take a look.
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Researchers in a Belgian hospital have found a “clear” link between vitamin D deficiency and serious cases of Covid-19.
A study of 186 coronavirus patients at the AZ Delta general hospital in Roeselare, West Flanders, revealed that a lack of sufficient vitamin D on admission can be linked to increased risk of severity and death from a Covid-19 infection. Read more.
While it is mandatory to quarantine after a high-risk contact and to self-isolate when infected with the coronavirus, health officials have explained what to do when one of your housemates has possibly been exposed to Covid-19.
The much-awaited and postponed coronavirus barometer has been dropped by the federal government, Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke said on Tuesday.
“That barometer was brought up at a time when we believed that we could relax in steps and, that if the crisis hit us again, we could tighten up in steps again. In the meantime, we have learned the lesson that, unfortunately, it is not that simple,” Vandenbroucke said. Read more.
The average of new people who tested positive for the coronavirus and the number of hospitalisations decreased over the past week in Belgium, but the number of deaths continues to rise, according to Sciensano’s latest figures on Tuesday. Read more.
In the spring, as the coronavirus pandemic reached Belgium and health care workers triaged and treated the throngs of coronavirus patients, stacks of files began piling up on Jan Willems’ desk. Read more in this month’s magazine.
The province of Antwerp will extend a coronavirus ban on all Christmas markets and public end-of-year festivities beyond Christmas and the New Year.
In a dispatch to provincial police zones and mayors, Antwerp Governor Cathy Berx said the ban will last until 31 January 2021.
“The current situation requires a drastic reduction of social contacts and it is necessary to continue to prohibit activities that involve too close contact between individuals and bring a large number of people together, such as Christmas markets,” she said. Read more.