“Previously, we relaxed [the measures] far too quickly, at a high level of an average of 2,000 to 3,000 new infections per day,” Devroey said. “That became a smouldering fire that is now rekindling. Like the defence of the Red Devils in the 2000s: the measures were too weak and they always come too late.”
Infectious disease expert and chair of the GEMS expert group advising the government Erika Vlieghe, however, is not sure if a complete lockdown is necessary.
“Lockdown is a house with many rooms,” she said. “What we proposed in our ‘plan B’ was actually: let us do everything we can to keep the schools open to the maximum, and that means making maximum efforts in sectors and situations around them.”
Intensivist at the UZ Leuven Geert Meyfroidt stressed that going into a new lockdown is up to the politicians to decide. “A total lockdown works, and letting go of all the rules is not an option, but anything in between those two extremes is a political choice.”
Making the decision to implement extra rules, quickly, however, is more important than what exactly those rules are, according to him. “If you further tighten the rules, it is better to do it tomorrow.”