Professor Boudewijn Catry: "We only expect things to improve in a couple of weeks

Professor Boudewijn Catry of the public health science institute Sciensano has told Friday morning’s press conference on the latest figures relating to the novel coronavirus pandemic in Belgium that he doesn’t expect there to be any improvement in the figures relating to COVID-19 for the next couple of week. “It will take at least a couple of weeks before we will be able to see the effect of the new measures. We must persist for a time before there is any improvement”

A graph produced by the Universities of Hasselt and Antwerp (see below) predicts what the effect of reducing the number of people in our so-called “social bubbles” will be. The red line shows how sharply the number of people being hospitalised with COVID-19 would rise if the rule on social bubbles that was in force until earlier this had remained unchanged. Under the previous rules you were allowed a social bubble (people you were allowed to meet that don’t live under the same roof as yourself) consisting of 15 people. These 15 people could change every week. Under the rules that are in force for the next four weeks a social bubble is restricted to 5 people that must remain the same during the entire period that the rule is in force.

The green line on the graph show the green line on the graph show at scientists predict will be the effect of limiting the social bubble to 5 people.  Professor Catry told the press conference that "Every effort we make to protect each other makes a difference”.

Meanwhile, a growing number of people have cancelled appointments with their GP or hospital out of fear of becoming infected with the novel coronavirus. Professor Catry said that “This is absolutely not necessary. Examinations and treatment can go ahead in all safety. Don’t put back your appointment unnecessarily and get the care that you need”. 

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