Covid-19: interior minister wants priority testing for police officers
Thursday, 22 October 2020
Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden. Credit: Belga
Belgium’s Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden wants police officers to be among the groups to be tested as a priority in order to avoid coronavirus infections, she told La Première (RTBF) on Thursday.
She sent a letter to Prime Minister Alexandro De Croo and Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke on Wednesday to formalise this request.
The minister referred to cases of infections in some police forces and recalled that the federal police could reinforce local areas “if necessary.”
Without giving precise figures on police absenteeism, Verlinden said she was in permanent contact with the crisis centre to monitor the situation on the ground.
According to the minister, the new measures to combat the spread of the virus are also generally well respected.
“I understand very well the frustration and disappointment because restaurants and cafés have invested in complying with the rules, but very strict measures had to be taken to slow down the spread of the virus,” she said. “You have to be very firm.”
Verlinden added that the government was trying “to avoid reconfinement,” while a new consultative committee is scheduled for Friday. “It is still too early to see the impact of the measures taken last Monday,” she added.