Covid-19: ‘four weeks of strict measures will not be enough’, health minister warns
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Covid-19: ‘four weeks of strict measures will not be enough’, health minister warns

Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke. Credit: Belga

Strict measures to fight the spread of Covid-19 will have to be maintained for longer than a month, Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke said on Wednesday.

There are four different predictive models, Vandenbroucke explained, each showing slightly different results, “but the common conclusion is that being strict for four weeks will not be enough,” he said on Terzake, a programme on Dutch-speaking television.

The models show that the rules currently in place would have to last at least eight weeks, Vandenbroucke explained.

“I don’t want to draw any conclusions yet, except this one: we will have to hold out for a long time,” he said. “It’s a marathon, it will be difficult.”

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo also compared the situation to a marathon on Wednesday at a virtual event called the Informal Summit of Flanders. The marathon will last at least until next summer, De Croo said, adding that “we have covered the first five kilometres in a sprint and we are in the red.”

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According to Vandenbroucke, the government is investing in doctors and additional funding for hospitals.

“I have an agreement in principle with the federal government to add a financial support component for hospitals,” he said.

He also announced a federal investment in mental health. The aim is for 1,500 psychologists to start working in the front line relatively quickly, he said.

Belgium’s Consultative Committee tightened the federal measures in the fight against coronavirus last week and will meet again on Friday.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times