Belgians (18-30) warned not to be careless in the face of coronavirus
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    Belgians (18-30) warned not to be careless in the face of coronavirus

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    Younger adults in Belgium have been called upon to “act responsibly” after recent figures have shown rising infections in adults between 18 and 30 years old.

    In a pointed message at the end of the daily press conference on Friday, Yves Stevens, spokesperson for the National Crisis Centre, criticised younger people’s lax attitudes towards respecting the measures, adding that “carelessness is the ideal ally for the virus.”

    Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès also pointed out that adults under 30 make up the biggest part of the recent coronavirus infections during the press conference after the National Security Council on Thursday.

    Belgium has reached an average of 220 new infections per day, according to the latest figures. The trends, including those for deaths and hospital admissions, are increasing, the figures show. Currently, 203 people are admitted to hospital in Belgium, 40 of whom are in the intensive care unit.

    “We call on everyone, but in particular on younger adults, to act responsibly, now more than ever,” Stevens said during a press conference on Friday.

    The additional measures taken by the National Security Council on Thursday are “not yet” bringing social life to a standstill, “but it is of capital importance that you limit your social contacts,” said Stevens.

    Even though younger people are less likely to get severely ill from the virus, they can still pass it on to (older) family members or friends. “Analyses show that infections can often be traced back to social activities such as family gatherings or a barbecue with friends,” said Stevens.

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    “Restricting your social contacts is vital to suppress the virus,” said Stevens. “It is not always easy, but we really need to limit social contacts this summer,” he added.

    Additionally, while in contact with the people in your ‘social bubble’, if they do not live under the same roof, respecting the 6 golden rules also remains important.

    The increasing coronavirus figures in Belgium make it extra clear that we have to be careful, according to Stevens. “It is advisable to keep a sort of diary, in which you keep track of the people you had contact with, to facilitate contact tracing,” he said.

    “If we want to stop this pandemic, it has to happen now. And I mean today. Right now,” Stevens said. “Act in solidarity with others, do it for your own health, for the health of your family and your friends. We are counting on you,” he added.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times