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‘Press the social pause button’, Crisis Centre urges

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People should stay at home as much as possible in the coming days to curb the spread of Covid-19, virologist Steven Van Gucht urged at a Crisis Centre press conference on Monday.

While the increase in new coronavirus infections is somewhat slowing down, the increase in hospitalisations is not, the crisis centre underlined.

By the end of the week, there will be 1,000 patients in the intensive care unit, and the maximum capacity of 2,000 beds could be reached in 15 days, according to inter-federal spokesperson Yves Van Laethem.

“We are in a critical phase of the epidemic,” said Van Gucht. “What we do now will be decisive for the hospital figures within ten days. We can still reverse this trend.”

“We can help the healthcare providers by not meeting each other for a while,” he said, advising not to meet friends or family outside the household and to “make it extra cosy at home and press the social pause button for a while.”

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“Now is not the moment to seek out the limits of the measures,” said spokesperson Yves Stevens. “Be a part of the solution and not of the problem,” he added.

Stevens also stressed that limiting social contacts is the only way to avoid dramatic situations in health care, calling on everyone to take responsibility.

At the same time, “it is not because we have fewer social contacts that we should not pay attention to each other,” Stevens said, encouraging people to find other safe ways to stay in touch, such as calling or texting.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times