Asymptomatic cases’ only option is quarantine, former Sciensano official says
Share article:
Share article:

Asymptomatic cases’ only option is quarantine, former Sciensano official says

Microbiologist and former Sciensano official Emmanuel André © Belga

The only option for Belgian residents who have had a high-risk contact but can no longer get tested for Covid-19 because of a lack of symptoms is self-isolation, a former Sciensano official said.

“If you have been in contact with an infected person, there are two possibilities: either you stay in strict quarantine until you receive test results or you stay in strict quarantine,” microbiologist and former Sciensano spokesperson Emmanuel André said on Twitter.

Related News:


“Any other option contributes to worsening the situation,” he added, in comments that come after Belgian health ministers froze testing asymptomatic people for Covid-19 — even if they have been in contact with a confirmed case.

In lieu of the test, those people will now have to quarantine for ten days, the country’s nine health ministers agreed following a meeting on Monday afternoon.

The decision and extended quarantine period will also apply to travellers returning from a high-risk destination coded as red by the foreign affairs minister based on daily coronavirus indicators.

As part of an ambition to boost the country’s testing capacity, regional and federal governments opened a string of new testing centres, including four in Brussels specifically targeting asymptomatic cases.

But the surge of new cases has led to an influx of samples which laboratories are no longer able to keep up with as well as to backlogs in regional contact tracing centres — undermining the country’s entire testing and tracing platform and hindering officials’ ability to break transmission chains, with people reporting delays of up to five days for results.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Flanders introduces ‘invisible’ speed cameras
New digital speed cameras that are essentially invisible to the road user are being introduced on various roads and motorways in Flanders, Flemish ...
Warnings issued for slippery roads across Belgium
Drivers have been asked to watch out for slippery roads from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening, as snow and cold temperatures are expected ...
Testing rules following high-risk contact eased for vaccinated people
The coronavirus testing policy following a high-risk contact has been eased, meaning a vaccinated person who was in contact with an infected person ...
New measures announced for Belgian schools
Stricter rules are being implemented across a variety of sectors in Belgium to curb the rising number of infections and limit the damage as a result ...
Majority of booster doses should be administered by March 2022
Invitations will be sent out in the following days for the general population in Belgium to receive a coronavirus booster vaccine, and most adults ...
Belgium adopts national plan to combat gender-based violence
Belgium has adopted a National Action plan for the Fight against Gender-Based Violence, which includes more than 200 measures and unites all levels ...
Antwerp cancels Christmas market and New Year’s Eve fireworks
The city of Antwerp has joined other cities including Leuven and Ghent by announcing it is cancelling this year's Christmas market, the end-of-year ...
Pharmaceutical companies looking into vaccines against new variant
Pharmaceutical companies have sprung into action to look into vaccine protection against the new coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa, ...
Belgium imposes entry ban on travellers from southern Africa
Belgium is introducing an entry ban for travellers from several countries in the south of Africa following concerns about a new variant (B.1.1.529) ...
What Ursula did next
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES • Weekly analysis and untold stories
Nightclub closures, limiting contacts: These rules come into force today
Just over one week after its last meeting, Belgium's Consultative Committee on Friday once again announced a set of new measures to curb the rising ...
Almost 3,500 Covid-19 patients in hospitals as new cases continue to skyrocket
The number of new coronavirus cases in Belgium is continuing to rise, and with it the number of Covid-19 patients who are hospitalised as a result of ...