“We intend to activate the pandemic law,” Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed on Tuesday in the House committee, ahead of Tuesday’s meeting of Belgium’s Consultative Committee at 4:30 PM.
“We are going to use this legislation which allows a strong decision, with the control of the Parliament. And we want to do it for a fairly long period, three months,” Vandenbroucke said.
“If we don’t control this covid pandemic and we are also faced with the flu season, we will have a very very big problem. We want a strong legal basis, with measures for the whole of Belgium, with a view to getting through the winter safely and avoiding a corona epidemic and a flu epidemic.”
To implement these measures legally and for a duration of three months, the government discuss activating the pandemic law. To activate this law, a state of epidemiological emergency must first be declared, based on scientific advice.
According to the Minister, the latest report of the Risk Assessment Group shows that the present situation does, indeed, warrant activating the law.
“Yes, it confirms that we need the pandemic law. This epidemic is claiming victims everywhere. If you look at the figures, we have an average of 121.3 hospitalisations per day. And half of the hospitalised patients are in Flanders. The virus doesn’t understand the difference between French and Dutch very well,” Vandenbroucke said.
Flanders had done away with most of the pandemic restrictions as the vaccination rate was better than in the rest of the country. Vandenbroucke called for citizens to “be much more careful in our daily lives.”