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“Local lockdowns could be imposed pretty soon”

Now that infection numbers are increasing local lockdowns could be in place very soon, says Flemish biostatistician Geert Molenberghs of Leuven University.

“The numbers are running up quickly.  The previous week there were 700 new cases of coronavirus.  This past week the number hit 1,200 and that is nearly a doubling.  It’s above all in Antwerp Province, but clusters have been identified in Brussels, Houthalen-Helchteren and Beringen (both in Limburg)… The numbers are running up quickly.  We need to respond fast”.

“It’s up to the politicians to judge, but I believe we are ready for local lockdowns.  The alternative is a total lockdown and that is far more drastic.  A local lockdown can keep the situation manageable when contact tracing and cluster investigations can no longer keep up.”

Prof Molenberghs, who also lectures at Hasselt University, points to Barcelona in Catalonia: “Theatres, movie theatres, sports halls, discos have all been closed once again.  Restaurants and pubs operate at half capacity and must close at 8PM.  Contact bubbles are limited to ten people.  The challenge is to limit contacts between people in a specific areas thanks to a range of measures.”

A local lockdown need not necessarily mean that you cannot leave an area, though in Leicester (photo top) in England this was the case for a while.

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