'We’re close to code orange, but we need to continue being careful'

'We’re close to code orange, but we need to continue being careful'
Credit: Belga

With the Coronavirus infection rate below 1 and the virus losing ground, Belgium is close to moving from red to orange on the barometer introduced a few weeks ago, but people still need to exercise caution, according to Vooruit, Flemish social democrat President Conner Rousseau, Belga news agency reports.

“I would bet that we’ll be able to make that decision in a week or two,” Rousseau said on Sunday on Eén-VRT’s weekly 'De Zevende Dag' programme, “but we need to relax the measures cautiously and safely, using the barometre as a guide.”

Speaking on the same programme, The Flemish Minister for Welfare, Wouter Beke (CD&V), also said he had “the feeling we are close to code orange.”

” I cannot put a date to it, but I think that within a week, two weeks, we can decide to shift to code orange,” Rousseau said, “and the barometer is a roadmap, a guide, to do it in all safety."

Referring to Denmark, where many Corona-related measures have already been lifted, the Vooruit leader asked: “Why are they already able to lift so many measures?”

“Look at the figures from their hospitals,” he said, responding to his rhetorical question. “They are much lower than here. When we are at that level, we, too, will be able to begin strongly relaxing the measures. We have a policy based on figures. Denmark also took that decision on the basis of figures. They are able to do that. We’re not there yet.”

For his part, Minister Beke noted that the fifth wave of the Coronavirus had peaked.

“We’re already on track on infections,” he said. “We’re also seeing it with hospital and intensive-care admissions. We now need to see if it will remain like that, and if that is the case, we can switch to code orange.”

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