Belgium has crossed the “psychological” threshold of 500 Covid-19 patients in intensive care, Federal Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Vooruit) said on Sunday.
Speaking on the Flemish VTM channel’s midday newscast, the minister said there were now 516 covid patients in intensive care Belga News Agency reports.
Belgium has 2,000 intensive care beds, 117 of which are out of service due to a shortage of healthcare workers. “People are extremely tired or are themselves sick with the Coronavirus,” Vandenbroucke explained.
He repeated that, in his eyes, stricter enforcement of measures aimed at stopping the spread of Covid-19 was needed. He said he had watched with interest an experiment carried out at the Old Leuven Market, where a central control post issues bracelets to members of the public enabling them to go to all surrounding cafés.
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The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will not be enough to keep discotheques open, according to Minister Vandenbroucke, who feels these places of entertainment should no longer be able to accept patrons unless they are vaccinated.
“And beyond that, if the virus is going around at this point, one can wonder whether vaccinated persons should not take a test,” he said.
He reiterated an earlier call for facemasks to be mandated for children above the age of nine years, despite the opposition of the Flemish Government and the Education Minister of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Caroline Désir (PS).