Brussels Minister won’t be drawn on whether stricter measures will be introduced in the capital

The Flemish Green Minister in the government of the Brussels-Capital Region Elke Van den Brandt says she still can’t say whether extra measures will be brought in to curb the large rise in the number of people in the capital that are testing positive for the novel coronavirus. Ms Van den Brandt whose responsibilities include health was speaking in an interview with VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘De ochtend’. While the number of new infections in Antwerp continues to fall the number of people testing positive for the novel coronavirus in Brussels continues to rise. 

Elke Van den Brandt told ‘De ochtend’ that “We are coming out of a lockdown that has weighed heavily on people in Brussels. People here often live in small flats and often don’t have a garden. Going out is the only way of getting a bit of fresh air”.  

Since the number of new infections in the Brussels-Capital Region exceeded 50 per 100,000 population last Thursday, face masks have been mandatory on the streets and all other publically accessible places in the capital’s 19 municipalities.

Ms Van den Brandt told the VRT that “It was necessary to have a clear rule for the whole of Brussels”.

“But it is also important that the measures we have taken are explained and respected. Face masks have been mandatory here for 5 days now and we have seen in Antwerp that it often takes two weeks before the impact of measures is reflected in the figures”.  

Ms Van den Brandt wouldn’t be drawn on whether additional measures will be taken

“There is a Security Council this week to examine whether extra measures are needed”.

However, she isn’t ruling anything out in the long term.

“I hope that the corona crisis will be behind us quickly, but I fear that there will be a further period with stricter measures in place if the figures require it”.

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