Coronavirus causes increase in registrations for SMS alert system
Tuesday, 18 August 2020
Over 160,000 Belgians have registered for the BE-Alert system since the start of the coronavirus crisis, based on numbers reported by L’Echo on Tuesday.
BE-Alert is used to warn a specific public as quickly as possible. In case of a local emergency – for example a smoke outbreak due to a fire – a text message can be sent to any mobile phone in the risk zone.
Between 12 and 19 March 2020, at the start of the crisis, more than 50,000 people registered for the system. Today, the system, which has been adopted by 80% of Belgian municipalities, has 890,000 members, compared to 729,000 before the health crisis.
Authorities have used BE-Alert for their communication. Citizens who registered via the BE-alert.be site have received a summary e-mail after each press conference of the National Security Council.
As of mid-May, the system had already sent 4.5 million coronavirus alerts to citizens. Belgium has counted 78,534 confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, and 9,944 people have lost their lives to it as of 18 August.