Belgian experts call for more drastic measures

“If the numbers are still deteriorating, one should nevertheless consider moving to more drastic measures and temporarily pausing everything that is not essential,” virologist Steven Van Gucht told VRT NWS on Monday. [Shutterstock/Alexandros Michailidis]

With rising infections numbers, Belgian health experts have warned that current restrictions will not be enough to keep the virus under control.

At its meeting last Friday, Belgium’s Consultative Committee had refrained from imposing stricter measures for April.

“If the numbers are still deteriorating, one should nevertheless consider moving to more drastic measures and temporarily pausing everything that is not essential,” virologist Steven Van Gucht told VRT NWS on Monday.

According to him, the recent measures taken in educational institutions are useful but may not be enough to flatten the rising curve.

“We could go to a kind of lockdown, as we see it abroad today. (…) And maybe we won’t have to maintain that for very long either and we can once again offer real prospects of easing in the month of May thanks to the vaccination,” Van Gucht said.

Other leading health experts have also called for more restrictions, including a hard lockdown.

“A hard lockdown cannot be ruled out, no matter how unpleasant everyone thinks this is. But at a certain point, you have no choice but to take difficult measures,” virologist Marc Van Ranst told VTM Niews.

“I understand the hesitancy of the politicians, these are very difficult decisions to make. A new strict lockdown is difficult for the mental well-being of people, but it is important to realize that we need broad measures effective, spread across society as a whole,” Van Ranst said.

(Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV.com)

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