Coronavirus barometer must be announced tomorrow, says De Croo

Coronavirus barometer must be announced tomorrow, says De Croo
Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (left) and Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke. Credit: Belga

Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo absolutely wants to announce the coronavirus barometer during the Consultative Committee on Friday, he said in the Chamber on Thursday.

The coronavirus barometer, which links certain epidemiological thresholds to specific measures, is expected to be introduced on Friday to bring more predictability to Belgium’s policy – specifically for the culture, hospitality and sports sectors.

“That does not mean that other measures are not possible, but those sectors need more predictability than others to organise themselves,” De Croo explained.

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The idea of such a barometer has been going around for a year, but was never finished. The criticism after the last few Consultative Committees and the recent overturning of the decision to shut the cultural sector, however, put the tool back on the agenda.

“Tomorrow will be an important moment for all the governments of the country, to show that we can pool all this knowledge we have gained,” De Croo said.

He also stressed that the infection rates and hospital admissions are still rising, even if the pressure on intensive care units is still decreasing. “The fact that so many people end up in hospital means that we still cannot say that Omicron is the same as regular flu. The vaccination, and more specifically the booster shot, remains our best means of defence.”

The Consultative Committee will meet on Friday (tomorrow) afternoon to discuss the barometer, a spokesperson for De Croo confirmed to The Brussels Times. Following the meeting, a press conference will be held to announce the latest decisions.

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