Wuhan-style lockdown in Belgium?

More and more police zones are reporting an increase in violations of corona measures.  There are more people in the street.  Shops are busy and people are throwing Easter parties at home.  Dirk Claes of the Limburg police zone Bilzen-Hoeselt-Riemst is sounding the alarm. Virologist Prof Marc Van Ranst warns that if people don’t abide by the rules a Wuhan-style lockdown could be the option.

“Stop thinking everything’s OK and things are getting better.  I fear that what happens this weekend will be translated into figures next week.”

Yesterday virologist Marc Van Ranst called on people to do their civil duty.  “I understand people are tired of the lockdown, but we must keep complying with the measures. If not everybody does their best, the curve will edge higher once again.”

“Stay at home” has become the mantra of 2020, but not everybody has yet cottoned on.  Easter, lockdown exhaustion and fine weather are proving to be dangerous cocktail.

South Limburg is near cities hit hard by the virus.  Police chief Claes: “Traffic’s been busier.  More of these journeys will have been non-essential. People are telling us they feel unsafe after visiting the supermarket because shoppers are not keeping their distance. We are getting reports from neighbours worried about parties in their neighbourhood, even in the evenings.  We had to intervene at one party last night because of the noise. We don’t enjoy interventions.  Everybody has children or people they need to care for.  Our own health is important. ”

Virologist Prof Marc Van Ranst says that glorious weather or not corona restrictions need to be observed.

“I understand lockdown fatigue.  Nobody likes sitting indoors, but the measures need to stay in place and be observed. The curve that has just started going down is fragile.  If not everybody does their best, it will rise again”. 

“There are an awful lot of people doing their best” says Marc Van Ranst. “A limited group can spoil it for the rest of us.  We will notice all these (violations of corona measures) in the number of new hospitalisations in a couple of days and that we don’t want.”

”If we don’t comply with the lockdown measures , there’s a big chance we will head for a lockdown Wuhan-style: only going outdoors for shopping , no more sports and only essential sectors at work.  If we don’t get the curve down any further, that will be the option.  Many people don’t realise this.”