Share article:
Share article:

Don’t relax lockdown measures yet, Belgian hospitals warn

Credit: Belga

Belgian hospitals are calling on the Consultative Committee to not relax the current coronavirus measures and “continue doing what we are doing right.”

The country is on the right track in combatting the virus, but the road back to regular healthcare will still be “very long and difficult,” umbrella organisations Zorgnet-Icuro, Gibbis, Santhea and Unessa said in a joint press release on Friday.

The hospitals are calling on the Consultative Committee not to relax the measures too quickly because – even in the best-case scenario of falling figures – the hospitals are still facing a daunting task in the coming months.

“Or to put it in the words of virologist Steven Van Gucht: ‘What we are doing now, we are doing well. It is important to keep it up’,” the hospitals said.

“Any other choice means a burden on Belgian hospitals and an increased risk to the public health of the citizens,” they added.

Related News:


Despite the decreasing coronavirus figures, the pressure on hospitals remains high, and they are still in crisis mode, the healthcare sector stated.

Since the second half of October, regular care has been partially cut off and non-urgent surgeries and treatments have been postponed, which the sector will have to pay the price for in the long run, according to the hospitals.

Infectious disease expert Erika Vlieghe also said that it is too early for the relaxations, especially with the Christmas period in mind.

“The hospitals are still crowded, the healthcare sector is hurting, now is not the time to organise parties,” she said. “We must now focus on celebrating safely, for example by meeting with family members outside, with the necessary distance.”

Shops, however, could possibly open “under very strict conditions,” she said. “Surely we are not going to jeopardise the gains we have now made and risk a third wave in January?”

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Efficacy of vaccines against new variant known in a few weeks, virologist says
The efficacy of the current coronavirus vaccines against the new Omicron variant will be clear in one to two weeks, Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst ...
Scientists could have communicated better during pandemic, survey shows
The majority of Flemish people continue to trust scientists, however, only half of them feel scientists communicated understandably during the ...
Closing borders and new travel restrictions: Countries react to Omicron variant
As more cases of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus are being reported across the world, more and more countries are imposing tougher travel ...
Several rush hour train services to be scrapped from Monday
Up to ten peak time trains to and from Brussels will be temporarily cancelled starting from Monday, Belgian railway company SNCB announced this ...
Europe’s largest vintage clothes store is in Ghent this weekend
Europe's largest pop-up store for second-hand clothes is once again setting up shop in Ghent on Sunday, offering more than five tonnes of vintage ...
Animal welfare in EU’s pig meat sector: What’s wrong?
EU has put into place legislation to ensure that animal welfare conditions are respected in its agricultural policy but the breaches of its ...
‘Not feasible’: Doctors refuse to follow new testing strategy
Doctors have warned they will not follow the government's adapted testing strategy which would see vaccinated people who were in close contact with a ...
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 ...