According to him, Belgium has to be “very careful” of a third wave that is more severe than the second wave was.
“We have to keep a close eye on the number of new cases,” Van Ranst said, adding that relatively younger people are now ending up in hospital as well.
“They are treated more aggressively and more often in intensive care,” he said, adding that the British coronavirus variant – which is 50% more infectious – is at the basis of this.
Van Ranst said that he hopes the number of infections will not rise exponentially, now that more than 5,000 infections were already registered on Monday, according to provisional figures from health institute Sciensano.
He stressed that it is “absolutely necessary” that the measures currently in force are applied very strictly. “We also have to take teleworking very seriously. In some companies, this no longer happens and we see infections there as well.”
An increase in the figures was expected, according to Van Ranst, but the rise that Belgium is currently seeing is “perhaps a bit more pronounced than in the simulations.”
“It is now a political decision to try to contain this further or to sit out the storm and then see how we come out,” Van Ranst said.
In light of the increasing figures, the Consultative Committee – which was scheduled to meet on Friday 26 March – will meet this Friday, according to reports in the Walloon press, although there has been no official confirmation yet.