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What to expect from the Consultative Committee on Friday

Credit: Belga

Belgium’s Consultative Committee will meet again on Friday to assess the epidemiological situation and the measures currently in force, as the coronavirus figures continue to drop.

Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke already stated on Monday that the measures would not be relaxed this coming Friday, even though the figures were “evolving in the right direction.”

Tighter rules, however, are not expected either, as Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said on VTM News on Sunday that the current rules are “strict, but also stable” instead of constantly changing.

The current evolution of the figures in Belgium is more favourable than in most of the neighbouring countries, he said, adding that the figures will be assessed.

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While arguments in favour of reopening hairdressers or allowing shopping in pairs again are rising, De Croo said that the best way to make that happen was to stick to the rules.

“The figures are going in the right direction, but it is too early to call it a victory and change tack,” the cabinet of Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon told Het Laatste Nieuws.

However, the effects of returning travellers after the Christmas holidays and the reopening of schools still have to be reflected in the curve. “Everything will be monitored closely,” De Croo said.

On Sunday, he also said that he would like to be able to offer the population some positive prospects, but that “offering false hope would be worse.”

However, according to virologist and interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht, Belgium could reach the set relaxation thresholds of 800 infections and 75 hospitalisations per day by early February, if the current trend continues.

As Vandenbroucke already stated that once the thresholds are reached, the figures should remain stable for three weeks, that means that rules could begin to relax around 21 February.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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