Planned relaxations cannot happen if figures keep rising, warns Van Ranst
Share article:
Share article:

Planned relaxations cannot happen if figures keep rising, warns Van Ranst

Credit: Belga

The relaxations of Belgium’s measures that the Consultative Committee planned to implement from 1 April cannot happen if the coronavirus figures keep rising, according to virologist Marc Van Ranst.

The current rising infection figures are “a new fact” in Belgium’s coronavirus curve that was “fairly flat for seventeen weeks,” he told Het Laatste Nieuws on Thursday.

“Relaxing the rules is out of the question if the figures keep rising, especially when we look at the follow-up figures for the next few days,” Van Ranst said.

“Some people have the impression that this epidemic is over and that is not the case. These new figures are a real reality check,” he said.

Referring to the planned relaxations from the start of April, which include the restart of outdoor events with 50 people, Van Ranst said that “when the numbers do not allow it, then you might have to rethink this politically.”

Related News:


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.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Over 50,000 march against fascism in Rome
Tens of thousands of people demonstrated against fascism in Rome on Saturday, one week after violent protests against the Covid certificate. Over ...
Will Brussels bounce back?
The lockdowns have tested the city and forced it to confront key questions about its future. Derek Blyth looks back at an extraordinary moment in our ...
Vaccinations: Belgium’s Health Minister currently not in favour of a general booster shot
The latest figures on new coronavirus cases are worrying, but rather than imposing new safety measures, what is needed is full compliance with ...
Thousands protest against the Covid health pass in France
Demonstrations against the health pass and other measures aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus mobilised tens of thousands of protesters ...
Record-breaking 770-metre highline installed in Freÿr, Belgium
A 770-metre long highline was installed at an altitude of 70 metres at the Freÿr Rocks on Saturday, setting a new Belgian record, according to ...
Huge cannabis farm discovered inside closed down Chinese restaurant near Charleroi
A cannabis plantation with several hundred mature plants was dismantled on Friday evening in a former Chinese restaurant on Chaussée de Bruxelles ...
Citizen founded wind turbine project launched in Liège region
A citizen founded wind turbine project was inaugurated in the Liège Region on Saturday by Walloon Energy Minister Philippe Henry (Ecolo) together ...
Five questions to philosopher Philippe Van Parijs on Leopold II and embarrassment in Brussels’ public space
The worldwide explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, combined with the 60th anniversary of the ...
Belgium to invest in sustainable heating in 2022
The federal government will set aside about one million euros in its 2022 budget for a social tariff for sustainable heating, Federal Energy Minister ...
Unfinished draft of new Astérix story discovered
The discovery of the unfinished draft of a cartoon album on the most famous of all Gauls, sketched by cartoonist René Goscinny, was announced by his ...
Anti-vaxxers demonstrate against Covid Safe Ticket in Brussels
Hundreds of supporters of the anti-vaxx movement gathered on Saturday outside the headquarters of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to protest ...
Belgium’s investment funds total 260 billion euros in assets
Belgium’s funds industry grew by 5.3% (13 billion euros) in the second quarter of this year, bringing investment funds available to the public to ...