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    Coronavirus: Belgian lung doctors sound the alarm

    Credit: Belga

    Members of the Professional Association for Belgian Pulmonologists are concerned, fearful and angry about the evolution of infection rates for the new coronavirus (Covid-19) and the approach taken by the authorities, they say in an open letter.

    The lung doctors, who are on the front line in the fight against coronavirus, wonder what the responsible politicians are waiting for.

    “The number of infections is exploding, there is an exponential growth, and inevitably this will also be the case for the number of hospital admissions and then deaths, with a delay of 2 to 6 weeks,” they said.

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    “We fear dozens or hundreds of admissions to intensive care units again,” they warned. “One third of those patients will die and many survivors will be left with mental or physical defects after long and difficult rehabilitation.”

    “Elderly and at-risk patients will die, sometimes perfectly healthy people in their forties, in rare cases children,” they said. “Is that what responsible politicians are waiting for? Do they think they can turn back the clock that way?”

    “The lack of responsibility on the part of certain individuals is shocking, but so is the lack of insight on the part of some politicians,” the lung doctors said. “Tracing and testing can’t reduce the epidemic to this scale. Above all, more protection is needed.”

    Pulmonologists first and foremost point to correct hand hygiene. They also insist on maintaining the wearing of masks and the size of the bubbles. They plead for “a bubble with a maximum of 10, exclusively and indefinitely until there are less than 100 infections per day”. The public should also be properly informed, “without a plethora of irrelevant elements, nor the urge to keep it fun.”

    Finally, the lung doctors expressed their support for the experts and scientists who have been working on this issue in recent months. “The fact that national experts are now being pointed the finger after their advice for stricter measures has not been followed is terrible.”

    The Brussels Times