Share article:
Share article:

Exit plan: Belgian intensive care doctors afraid of 4 May

"As a human being, I am relieved that the economy is starting up again. As a doctor, I am a little scared," said Meyfroidt. Credit: Belga

Intensive care doctors are afraid of what will happen on 4 May, when the first phase of the exit plan out of Belgium’s lockdown will start.

“If we do not abide by the basic rules, we can get in trouble again very quickly,” said Geert Meyfroidt, professor and intensivist at the university hospital of Leuven, in “Vandaag” (video) on Wednesday, saying that the new coronavirus (Covid-19) could flare up again.

On Wednesday, Belgium’s National Security Council confirmed that the first step of the exit plan could start as planned on 4 May, following several days of the number of new hospital admissions below 200, and the number of patients on intensive care even dropping below 800.

In practice, this means that many companies will be allowed to restart their activities, even though telework remains the norm. Cycling or going for a walk in a group of three will also be allowed again, as well as practising some sports in pairs, in the open air. Additionally, public transport will also resume its usual activities, but the use of face masks is mandatory.

Related News:

 

“As a human being, I am relieved that the economy is starting up again. As a doctor, I am a little scared,” said Meyfroidt. “When the outbreak started, we made sure the hospitals were empty. Now, it’s different. There are still people in those special departments,” he added.

“Hopefully, we will see it in time if the figures start to rise again, because it is only days after the relaxing of the second measure (the reopening of all stores on 11 May) that we will know the impact of the first one,” Meyfroidt added.

The basic rules remain important, he stressed. Keeping your distance from others and regularly washing your hands will go a long way. “If we can continue to comply with these rules in a disciplined way, then we will succeed, and we will be allowed to do more sooner rather than later. If we do not do that, we could get in trouble again,” Meyfroidt added.

On top of that, the long days are beginning to weigh on the hospital staff. “I’m tired, but satisfied,” said Meyfroidt. “We have a very abnormal life now. Everyone has extra work, holidays have been cancelled, and there is much more to it than just caring for the patients,” he added.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Brussels launches initiatives to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety
Two new initiatives are being developed in Brussels to make the city safer and more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly, especially around key areas on ...
Vaccination coverage in Wallonia breaks 70 percent
The Wallonia Region in Belgium has reached the milestone of having 70 percent of its population receive at least one shot of a Covid-19 vaccine, ...
Belgian youth asked to skip school for Friday’s climate strike
Young people in Belgium have been called on by the climate movement Youth for Climate to once again skip school and take to the streets during the ...
Belgium to invest in sustainable heating in 2022
The Federal Government will set aside about €1 million in its 2022 budget for a social tariff for sustainable heating, Federal Energy Minister Tinne ...
Over 50,000 march against fascism in Rome
Tens of thousands of people demonstrated against fascism in Rome on Saturday, one week after violent protests against the Covid certificate. Over ...
Will Brussels bounce back?
The lockdowns have tested the city and forced it to confront key questions about its future. Derek Blyth looks back at an extraordinary moment in our ...
Belgium’s health minister not in favour of a general booster shot
The latest figures on new coronavirus cases are worrying, but rather than imposing new safety measures, what is needed is full compliance with ...
Thousands protest against the Covid health pass in France
Demonstrations against the health pass and other measures aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus mobilised tens of thousands of protesters ...
Record-breaking 770-metre highline installed in Freÿr, Belgium
A 770-metre long highline was installed at an altitude of 70 metres at the Freÿr Rocks on Saturday, setting a new Belgian record, according to ...
Huge cannabis farm discovered inside closed down Chinese restaurant near Charleroi
A cannabis plantation with several hundred mature plants was dismantled on Friday evening in a former Chinese restaurant on Chaussée de Bruxelles ...
Citizen founded wind turbine project launched in Liège region
A citizen-founded wind turbine project was inaugurated in the Liège Region on Saturday by Walloon Energy Minister Philippe Henry (Ecolo) together ...
Five questions to philosopher Philippe Van Parijs on Leopold II and embarrassment in Brussels’ public space
The worldwide explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, combined with the 60th anniversary of the ...