Brussels mayors meet to assess coronavirus situation as figures keep rising

Brussels mayors meet to assess coronavirus situation as figures keep rising
© Belga/Paul-Henri Verlooy

The 19 mayors of Brussels will meet on Monday afternoon to assess the coronavirus situation in the capital as infections figures keep rising and ahead of a national government meeting mid-week.

The meeting was called following an expert's committee last week which saw the office of Minister-President Rudi Vervoort decide against rolling out new coronavirus measures, choosing instead to stress the importance of sticking to the existing rules.

On Monday, the 19 mayors will be joined by officials from regional health and security agencies in Brussels in a meeting which will also be attended by the offices of the Flemish and Francophone education ministers.

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Both the mayor of Evere and Vervoort will be absent from the meeting, after the former tested positive for the virus, sending Vervoort, whom he had met, into preventative quarantine.

One of the main talking points of the meeting will be the return to class in schools and universities throughout the region, according to Bruzz.

Primary and secondary schools resumed classes at the start of September while Flemish and Francophone universities in the region kicked off the new academic year one and two weeks ago, respectively.

Inge Neven of the Brussels region health inspectorate said that authorities needed to focus on making sure student life outside campus did not give more fuel to the virus, which is already circulating rapidly throughout the country.

On Monday, the average number of new infections across Belgium neared 1,200 after climbing consistently throughout the past week.

"Everyone wants classes to be able to continue, so it is important to remain watchful on and off-campus," Neven told Bruzz.

The general advice which currently applies to schools and universities across Belgium is to remain in code yellow, the second-lowest risk level in a nationally defined coronavirus risk system.

Ahead of the start of the school year, several Flemish universities, including one in Brussels, decided to hike the alert level to orange, leading to the introduction of stricter measures in a move defined by university officials as preventative.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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