“We’re heading for a catastrophe”

Microbiologist Herman Goossens has added his voice to the experts condemning what they see as a lack of decisive action to stem the spread of coronavirus by the country’s security council.  The Antwerp academic warns we are heading for catastrophe, if efficient measures are not taken swiftly.

Belgium’s security council meeting on Thursday introduced mandatory wearing of face coverings in busy places and stricter rules for the hospitality industry and people returning from a foreign trip.  The experts are unhappy the contact bubble, the number of people you are allowed to be in close contact with during a week, wasn’t reduced from the present 15.

“We’re all extremely worried about what has transpired over the past week, a spectacular rise in infections.  The new measures introduced by the security council are too soft and insufficient.”

Prof Goossens welcomes the fact local authorities can take local measures, but is worried people will get too confused if different measures apply in different municipalities. A new meeting of the security council, grouping the country’s federal and devolved governments, is planned for next Friday, but that’s rather late Prof Goossens says: “It can’t happen quickly enough.  Every day you wait is one too many.  The measures taken don’t go far enough.  All the experts agree.”

Prof Goossens calls for improved contact tracing and the use of influencers to reach certain communities, local lockdowns and a reversal of some relaxations.  

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