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Epidemiologist Pierre Van Damme: "At the coast and in fact everywhere: stay out of each other’s way”

In an interview with VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘De ochtend’ the Antwerp University epidemiologist Professor Pierre Van Damme commented on the crowds of holidaymakers and day-trippers that gathered at our region’s costal resorts on Saturday. 

"These are images that we don’t like to see. On the one hand people should be able to enjoy the sun a little and going to the coast is something that is important to Belgians. But once again. How well are the costal municipalities prepared for this? You can see that they aren’t always prepared for every eventuality. This needs to be followed up systematically. Rail services need to be geared to cope with busy periods. But you must also realise that when the sea water starts to rise the beach becomes smaller. You need to act in time to ensure that people are kept apart. Make sure, as is the case in Antwerp Province that people don’t come into contact with each other”, Professor Van Damme said.

Daily figures on corona

When asked to comment on the slow-down in the growth in the number of new infections Professor Van Damme said “The figures give the impression that the curve is flattening, but if we look province per province this is not the case. The Governors and a number of Mayors in Flemish Brabant, East Flanders and Liège Province will be choking on their coffee”.

"We must do all we can to get the corona figures down. The number of people testing positive is increasing not just the young, but gradually among all age groups. The argument that there are more cases because more people are being tested doesn’t hold water. The epidemic is spreading. The only answer is to stay out of each other’s way and to stay in your bubble. This is applicable at the coast in provincial parts and everywhere else”.

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