Share article:
Share article:

Coronavirus: Mobile teams prepare to tackle super-spreaders

© PxHere

The government is considering introducing mobile teams ready to move among the public in an effort to limit the damage done by super-spreaders – people who are able to infect many people at one time, usually at gatherings where lots of people are present.

According to scientific research, 80% of the infections in an epidemic are caused by only 10% of infected persons. These people are not more infectious than anyone else; their ability to infect many is simply a matter of their behaviour, mainly by failing to isolate and attending events where others are present in numbers.

The latest development comes as the epidemic of Covid-19 is in daily decline in Belgium, and as the country opens up to Phase 3 of the relaxation of lockdown measures. The danger now is that as society opens up and more people come in contact with each other, the figures might once again start moving upwards as super-spreaders have a wider public to infect.

Flemish health minister Wouter Beke confirmed to De Tijd that his office is busy setting up a system of mobile teams to spot super-spreaders, but gave no details.

Professor Steven Van Gucht, however, is a virologist linked to the government health institute Sciensano, working on a nationwide level. He explained how the teams would work.

They are sent to the place or organisation where there was super-spreading, if possible. They are trying to map out what happened and who was present when the infected person was there,” says Van Gucht.

According to the medical experts, if a person who has been infected attended a potential super-spreading event, all other present need to be traced, tested and isolated as well.

So far contact tracers have only had to deal with the limited circle of an individual, which in lockdown conditions was a small number of people. Now, however, the potential for super-spreading is far greater.

The precautions, Prof Van Gucht said, are familiar, since they have been advised since the onset of the crisis. “By keeping a safe distance, avoiding large meetings, identifying the contacts of corona patients and acting quickly at super-spreading events, we can possibly stop a second corona wave,” he said.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Brussels Airport becomes shareholder in SkeyDrone
The Brussels Airport company has signed an agreement to become a 50 percent shareholder in SkeyDrone, a subsidiary of skeyes, the Belgian Air ...
Two former Belgian top executives plead guilty to bid manipulation in the US
Two former Belgian top executives of the security company G4S have pleaded guilty in the US to bid rigging, according to reporting from De Tijd. ...
8 arrested in Belgium and Luxembourg for fraud and social dumping
On Tuesday, around 80 police investigators and 26 social investigators made a series of simultaneous arrests in Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg as part ...
More than 5,500 people took part in the citizens’ consultation on road safety
Over 5,500 people took part in a citizens’ consultation on road safety for Belgium between July and October, according to Belga News Agency. The ...
Coronavirus: Nearly 1,000 patients hospitalised, 80 admissions a day on average
Between October 10 and 16, an average of 3,151 people were infected with Covid-19 every day, according to figures from the Sciensano Public Health ...
‘More concern and false impressions’: colds are not worse than before, experts say
While it seems like cold viruses are hitting especially hard this autumn, with more severe and longer-lasting symptoms, doctors are saying that this ...
More women take police selection tests in Belgium
The selection tests to become a police inspector have more and more female participants, according to figures released by Interior Affairs Minister ...
‘Absurd’: all Brussels schools should have the same Covid rules
Several city councillors for education in Brussels are calling to abolish the "absurd" differences in coronavirus measures for Dutch-speaking and ...
Massive renovations for iconic venue in the heart of Brussels
Brussels concert hall Ancienne Belgique has announced plans to renovate the AB Café and the AB Salon and is looking for a contractor fit for the job. ...
Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...
Test results show pupils have fallen behind in Flemish schools
Learning delays have been reported in almost all subject areas in Flanders since the start of the pandemic, a trend that continued in 2021, a ...
Belgium considers relaxing testing rules for UK travellers
At the next Consultative Committee meeting, Belgium will look into relaxing the testing and entry policy for travellers coming from the United ...