Next few days will be ‘crucial’ to reverse rising trend, Van Gucht warns
Wednesday, 16 December 2020
The next few days will be crucial to reverse the rising trend of Covid-19 infections in Belgium, health officials stressed during a press conference on Wednesday.
The number of daily infections has been rising for several days in a row now, but consistently applying the existing measures can be enough to get them down again, according to virologist and interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht.
“Stay at home as much as possible, limit your contacts, work from home if possible and if not, keep a distance from your colleagues, especially during breaks or during lunch,” he said.
Belgium’s R-number (reproduction number) has been “flirting with the 1” for several days now, Van Gucht said. If the R-number is bigger than 1, one infected person infects more than one other person, on average.
“In Flanders, in particular, the figures are rising. The highest numbers of new cases can be found in Antwerp, West Flanders and East Flanders,” he said.
However, people’s mobility has recently started decreasing again, which shows that many people are willing to take the authorities’ recommendations into account, according to Van Gucht.
On Friday, the Consultative Committee will meet to evaluate the coronavirus figures and assess the epidemiological situation in the country, and possibly take new measures.
“Let us prove that we can turn the tide with this soft lockdown,” Van Gucht added.