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Belgium in Brief: Nobody Was Racing

Credit: Belga

If Belgium’s coronavirus vaccination plan were a race between the regions, it’s not exactly the most exciting one I’ve ever seen.

As of Monday 26 April, just over 30% of adults in Flanders have received at least one vaccination dose, compared to 22.7% in the Brussels-Capital Region and 29% in Wallonia, according to figures from the Sciensano national health institute.

This trend, according to Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon, is potentially enough of a reason to consider Flanders making specific relaxations before the rest of the country.

If this were a race, the man driving the car representing Flanders has noticed he’s slightly ahead of the other two drivers.

Based on this limited information, he has decided he has won, despite only being 30% of the way to the goal.

Nobody else thought it was a race, and they all thought they were on the same team, so they’re a little annoyed he’s decided he deserves a special prize.

We’re a long way from the finish line, so get the full story here.

So what do you think?

Does Jambon have a point?

Will this being brought up distract from focusing on real issues?

Let @johnstonjules know.

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1. ‘Not a race’: Francophone politicians oppose faster relaxations in Flanders

Several Belgian politicians have condemned a proposal by Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon to relax measures in Flanders if its vaccination rate overtakes the rest of the country. Here’s what you need to know.

2. 66% of Belgians think travel ban was lifted too early, survey shows

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Roughly 66% of Belgians think that 19 April was too soon to lift the ban on non-essential travel, according to the latest results from the Great Corona Study of the University of Antwerp. Read more.

3. A year of lockdowns has left young athletes out of shape and out of practice, experts worry

A year of the coronavirus and its related lockdown measures has left youth sports clubs with a sharp decline in the number of new registrations, and concerns about the physical fitness of kids across the country. Read More.

4. ‘Preventive approach will be adopted’ in preparation for La Boum 2, says Close

Credit: Belga

In light of a possible large-scale gathering as part of the second “La Boum” event, Brussels’ Bois de la Cambre will not be closed this weekend, but a preventive approach will be adopted, with the help of stewarding by police. Read more.

5. Coronavirus situation in hospitals in Belgium becoming worse again

The situation in hospitals in Belgium as a result of the coronavirus is worsening slightly after starting to improve last week, according to the latest official figures published by the Sciensano public health institute on Tuesday. Read More.

6. 58 travellers caught with false Covid-19 test at Brussels Airport

During the week after the Easter holidays, from 19 to 25 April, 58 people were caught trying to travel abroad with false documentation of negative Covid-19 tests from Brussels Airport. Read More.

7. ‘Calculated risk’: Belgium relaxes rules while Covid-19 figures stagnate

As Belgium marks the end of the “Easter pause” and the terraces will open soon, virologist Marc Van Ranst has warned that relaxing measures while the coronavirus figures have stopped falling is a calculated risk. Read More.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times