No new figures on coronavirus on Sundays and Mondays, but a new online tool has been launched to keep us up to speed
As was the case on Sunday, the public health institute Sciensano did not release any new figures on the novel coronavirus pandemic in Belgium on Monday. From now on figures will be released five days a week (Monday to Saturday) with the figures for Saturday, Sunday and Monday being released in Tuesday press communiqué. The idea is to allow those that compile the figures some much-needed weekend respite and to lighten the load of the hospitals that supply Sciensano with much of the data it needs to compile its report.
However, not everyone is happy with the move. The virologist Marc Van Ranst wrote on Twitter that that “A country with more than 20 new infections per day (last week there were an average of more than 20 in Belgium) can’t afford to switch to summer holiday mode. We deserve better”.
However, Sciensano’s Steven Van Gucht told VRT News that Belgium is currently in a period of transition when it comes to the reporting of the figures. The monitoring of the figures is continuing 7 days a week. "The number of new infections is the most important figure”, Professor Van Gucht added.
On Monday afternoon Sciensano launched an online tool with which members of the public and the authorities can follow how many new infections have been reported in each municipality.
"There is an alarm function for local authorities that is linked to this. This should serve as a trigger for health inspectors if there is a particularly high number of infections somewhere locally”, Professor Van Gucht told VRT News.