Crisis Centre stresses the importance of the basic reproduction number remaining under 1

At its press conference on Monday morning the National Crisis Centre stressed the importance of the basic reproduction number (R0) of the novel coronavirus in Belgium remaining under 1. With the measures designed to curb the spread of the virus gradually being relaxed and all shops now having reopened it remains crucial that people with any symptoms that might point to them having COVID-19 self-isolate. 

The Inter-Federal Spokesman Steven Van Gucht (photo above) told the press conference that “On the eve of the reopening of the shops the R0 value was between 0.7 and 0.8. Amongst other factors this is calculated on the basis of the number of new patients that are being admitted to hospital”.

Professor Van Gucht added that "It is possible due to the relaxation of the measures and above all due the increase in contacts between people that the R0 value with rise a little again”.

It is above all important that the R0 value remains under 1. “As soon as the R0 value exceeds the epidemic starts to gain intensity and the number of people being hospitalised will start to rise again. I thing that the success of the exit strategy will largely depend on the success of the testing strategy and contact tracing”, Professor Van Gucht concluded.