Van Ranst: ‘We have a chance, a week I think,’ to reverse rising figures
    Share article:
    Share article:

    Van Ranst: ‘We have a chance, a week I think,’ to reverse rising figures

    Marc Van Ranst © VTM

    Now is the time to act to tackle the recent coronavirus (Covid-19) flare-ups in Belgium, Marc Van Ranst told VTM on Sunday.

    The consultative committee met on Sunday to evaluate the current coronavirus situation but did not agree on any new measures to tackle the recent flare-up of cases in Belgium.

    “We have a chance, a week I think, to reverse this.” Van Ranst said. “If we don’t seize that chance, I’m afraid we’re off for a steep rise,” he added.

    Related Articles

     

    The measures should be controlled more strictly, according to Van Ranst. “I think that’s necessary. When you take measures, you have to make sure that they can be enforced. Controls are part of that.”

    “We have to strictly abide by the rules, so that the figures stabilise as soon as possible. The reproduction rate is between 1.4 and 1.5. That’s quite a lot. It means the epidemic is gaining momentum, then it goes very fast.”

    According to Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès, there’s no need for tightening because there is no talk of a “general increase,” but rather flare-ups in local communities and events.

    However, “the increase in the number of infections is a little bit everywhere,” according to Van Ranst. “We have incomplete information. The fragmentary information there is would indicate that these are people returning from abroad,” Van Ranst said.

    There is disagreement among leaders where travel is concerned. Interior Minister Pieter De Crem advised against travel, while Wilmès reacted, saying that this was merely a recommendation and adding that “everyone should use their common sense and ask themselves whether it is necessary to travel.” Van Ranst thinks it’s better to stay home “when possible.”

    When asked whether Van Ranst would have preferred a stronger signal from the Consultation Committee, he said that “it’s a difficult decision to make. A Security Council is planned” on Thursday, Van Ranst pointed out.

    “It will save a bit of time. There will be more figures in the meantime. If they stabilise, people will worry less. If they increase, there will be no easing. If they rise, there will be measures.”

    The Brussels Times