Belgium ‘on the right track’ to bring curve down, says Van Ranst
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Belgium ‘on the right track’ to bring curve down, says Van Ranst

Credit: Belga

Belgium is “on the right track” to bring the coronavirus curve back down with the strict lockdown measures currently in place, according to virologist Marc Van Ranst.

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke are making the right decisions “to remove Belgium from the first place on the Covid world ranking list within a few weeks,” Van Ranst said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

It is “wise” not to relax the Covid-19 measures too quickly, said Van Ranst, praising De Croo’s announcement on Wednesday that strict coronavirus measures will have to remain in force in Belgium “for months to come, until there is a vaccine.

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“Our ambition must be to keep the number of new cases low enough to allow contact tracing to function, so that as many close contacts as possible can be quarantined,” Van Ranst said.

On Thursday, the number of new infections decreased for the second day, according to Sciesano’s figures, although the pressure on hospitals, and intensive care units, in particular, remains high. According to epidemiologist Pierre Van Damme, however, hospitals can expect the pressure to decrease with a delay of about two weeks.

The goal should be to allow the healthcare sector “to combine high-quality coronavirus care with excellent care for other diseases,” according to Van Ranst, adding that we must “sustainably protect our economy from further Covid-waves, so that companies and the self-employed can see their business flourish again.”

Above all, we must strive to offer the entire population hope and perspective for a life where education, leisure, close social contacts and parties are once again normal and desirable, according to him.

“2021 will be better than 2020,” Van Ranst added. “Promise.”

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times