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Fight against coronavirus is far from over, experts warn

Credit: Belga

The fight against coronavirus is far from over, ten scientists including Emmanuel André, Marc Van Ranst and Erika Vlieghe warned in a blog post published on Thursday.

In their post, the experts plead to maintain a level of circulation of the virus “that is sustainable,” which should be accomplished “through measures that are not too complicated and well understood.”

In particular, they propose to maintain the reproduction rate at 0.8, underlining that we must “learn to live with sustainable measures that keep the virus under control.”

They called for a clear objective, which should not merely aim to temporarily stabilise the curve, as that would lead to a too rapid relaxation of measures.

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According to the scientists, the rebound of the last two weeks is probably due, among other things, to a drop in motivation to comply with the measures and to holiday returns.

They also said that the increase in numbers is not only due to the fact that more tests are being carried out: “The number of infections is increasing relatively faster than the number of tests.”

“While the numbers are increasing exponentially, it is impossible to continue to extend the lines of defence indefinitely,” the specialists warned. “Today, we are finding that primary care is at its maximum capacity.”

In that light, the circulation of the virus must be reduced, and it should be decided where to tighten measures and how long to maintain them.

Policy-makers need to develop a motivating framework “to limit the number of close individual contacts in function of societal priorities,” the experts said.

“It is vital to define our objective very clearly in the light of European criteria, and to focus on avoiding red or orange colouring,” they said.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

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