With more than 3,000 people with Covid-19 in Belgian hospitals, an average of 33 deaths per day and hospitals filling up, it is high time to take new measures, according to epidemiologist Pierre Van Damme. A lockdown does not rule out Van Damme either. He tells HLN that on Thursday morning.
“If we look abroad, we see that certain countries are going into lockdown and the situation there is even less worrying than with us. We have to be realistic and put that option on the table together with other measures, “Van Damme responded to the question of whether there should be a new lockdown. Microbiologist Emmanuel André has previously argued for a lockdown. us still remains to bring the curve down.
Virologist Marc Van Ranst also argues for a lockdown on Twitter on Thursday morning. According to him, a short strict lockdown is needed to avoid a longer semi-lockdown “which will exhaust people and have both a greater health cost and a greater socio-economic cost.”
Relaxed too quickly
Since Monday, the corona measures have been somewhat stricter again, but the effect of this will only be visible within a few weeks: “It is still too early, but the question is whether they are sufficient to bend the curve and especially to lower those numbers. ”, says Van Damme. “Nobody wants a lockdown, but we see that day after day the situation is not favorable but worrying. Together with many experts and together with politicians, we are therefore looking into what is feasible to keep crowds of people apart. Because we must do everything we can to stop infections and reduce the pressure on healthcare. For example, this can also be translated into even more measures for the sports and culture sector. ”
Together with the Czech Republic, Belgium is a hotspot in Europe. Our figures are poor compared to other countries. And that while we were initially among the best in the class. According to Van Damme, this is also due to the relaxation of this summer. “Relaxation came when that was actually not the right time. But we now have to look ahead and see how we can learn lessons from that. But we must now take all possible measures.”