Brussels special Covid-19 committee suspends activities
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Brussels special Covid-19 committee suspends activities

Credit: Belga

The Brussels Parliament decided on Monday to suspend the work of its special parliamentary committee on the Covid-19 crisis.

The special committee is responsible for taking stock of the management of the first phase of the Covid-19 health crisis and drawing lessons from it.

However, in light of the epidemiological developments of the last few days, the Brussels assembly preferred to suspend three meetings to that effect.

Last week, opposition party MR had denounced the idea of taking stock and of calling on ministers, experts and senior officials in the middle of an ongoing crisis, pointing out that “the house is on fire.”

On Thursday, the committee had initially decided to maintain the meetings pending the measures announced by the Consultative Committee. After meeting again on Monday, “it seemed inconceivable” to hear heads of Brussels hospitals and front-line medical staff “when they have to deal with a catastrophic health situation,” said Rachid Madrane, chairman of the committee.

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The hearings with three Brussels hospitals and the associations of general practitioners on 29 October, with nursing homes and Doctors Without Borders on 31 October, and with geriatricians, the Advisory Committee on Bioethics and insurance companies on 9 November have been postponed.

A new assessment of the situation will be made on 9 November.

Brussels has counted 49,200 confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic and had an average of 1,751 new cases over the last seven days, which is an increase of 32% compared to the week before.

As of Sunday, there were 848 patients in Brussels hospitals (accounting for over 17% of all hospitalisations in Belgium), 145 of which were in the intensive care unit.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times