‘Additional coronavirus fighting measures will be taken if necessary,’ says Jan Jambon
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‘Additional coronavirus fighting measures will be taken if necessary,’ says Jan Jambon

Credit: Belga

Additional coronavirus fighting measures will be taken if necessary, but as there is no exponential increase in the figures yet, there is no need to panic, according to Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon.

Over the previous two weeks, there has been a 42.5% increase in infections confirmed per 100,000 inhabitants since the period before, and in the past seven days, a 22% increase in new hospitalisations has been reported.

“If it is necessary, we (the Consultative Committee) will impose additional measures, but that is only necessary if we deviate from the biostatisticians’ prediction curve, and that is not the case now,” said Jambon on VRT’s ‘De Afspraak.

Jambon didn’t mention which measures he would be considering, as this is something that is done “in consultation”. “I know those games: if you say what you want to do, you come out afterward and people check whether you have been right,” he added.

On the notion of a possible lockdown, Jambon said: “It is not so easy to just say now there will a lockdown and that’s that, as it, of course, has massive consequences. Not doing it when it’s needed also has consequences, so that’s a tough one.”

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However, virologists and experts are increasingly concerned about the new daily averages in coronavirus figures, with Marc Van Ranst saying that to reverse the rising trend will require stricter measures, who said on Monday this could include imposing a hard lockdown.

“The longer you wait, you know that eventually this will no longer suffice and you will end up in a total lockdown,” doctor Roel Van Giel of the Domus Medica association of general practitioners said in Terzake.

Jambon added that, in any case, the safety measures around current relaxations need to be better enforced, saying “I think we have to be implacable there. A barbershop that doesn’t follow protocol should be closed down.”

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times