‘Don’t panic, but closely monitor,’ says coronavirus commissioner

‘Don’t panic, but closely monitor,’ says coronavirus commissioner
Pedro Facon. Credit: Belga

The current coronavirus situation in Belgium should not lead to panic, but it should be closely monitored nonetheless, according to the country’s coronavirus commissioner Pedro Facon, who commented on the matter in a series of tweets.

“What to do when there is uncertainty, as there is now? Don’t panic, but don’t be under any illusions either,” Facon tweeted, referring to concerns about rising numbers of infections in Belgium and the surge of certain Covid-19 variants (like the Delta one) throughout Europe.

He said the commission will “thoroughly analyse the situation” by the next Consultation Committee on Friday, and “advise political decision-makers on strategy and options in the short term and for the coming months.”

“The transition from acute crisis management to proactive risk management requires that we keep our finger on the pulse on all the aforementioned fronts,” Facon tweeted.

“Only then will we be able to manage the situation better and sustainably and restore social and economic life.”

Reminding people of the efficacy of vaccines, Facon urged those who haven’t yet been vaccinated to make arrangements to do so.

Around 40% of people with underlying conditions are not yet vaccinated, according to the commissioner, which amounts to about 600,000 individuals.

One in every five people over the age of 65 have also not yet been fully vaccinated, making them vulnerable to infection and hospitalisation at a time when the circulation of Covid-19 is increasing in the face of eased restrictions.

“That is precisely why we also vaccinate less vulnerable population groups, such as young people and the pre-midlife and middle aged,” tweeted Facon.

“In this way we reduce infections, virus circulation and create herd immunity.”

As of 10 July, the seven-day average of new Covid-19 infections in Belgium was 774, up 86% over the week before, according to data from Sciensano. The hospitalisation rate was 17.7 for the same period, an increase of 18%.

There have been a total of 1.1 million cases of coronavirus in the country since the pandemic began, and over 25,000 deaths.

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