BRUSSELS – Preparedness for a second wave

Belgium is set to start moving out of its lockdown in three phases as of today, but experts are already preparing for a possible second wave.

As of this Monday (4 May), phase one of the deconfinement measures is being implemented with among others, companies allowed to get back to work and people are allowed to do more sports activities outdoors.

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Meanwhile, the Group of Experts for an Exit Strategy (GEES) is working on a plan to move back into confinement, if necessary, its head virologist Erika Vlieghe told Le Soir over the weekend.

“It will be our task to be vigilant and dampen the enthusiasm for reopening society too quickly,” Vlieghe said.

“We saw what the first serious wave looked like. We have to be prepared for a second one, although we’ll try not to let it come to that,” she added.

A testing and contact tracing will start on Monday but will not run at full speed yet, Minister Philippe De Backer (Open VLD), responsible for medical equipment, said in a press release.

On average 24,000 tests per day have been performed during the long weekend and more than 2.3 million surgical masks have been distributed in recent days across the regions, according to official numbers.

(Alexandra Brzozowski |

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