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Experts warn that “It is too early to relax the measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus”

Two days ahead of the next meeting of the National Security Council virus experts have warned that it is still to early to relax the measures designed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The experts say that it would not be a responsible move if the National Security Council were to announce a relaxation of the measures after Thursday’s meeting. This is despite the number of new infections having fallen over the past few days. The experts point to the reopening of schools for the autumn term in a couple of weeks’ time as a reason for keeping the existing measures in force. 

Speaking on VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘De Ochtend’ the heads the group of experts that advises the National Security Council Professor Erika Vlieghe (photo above) expressed reservations about relaxing measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus at the start of the new school year.

Professor Vlieghe believes that other measures should be set against what will be a relaxation of the measures applicable to schools once the new school year starts. “You can’t just open up everything all at once”, she told VRT Radio 1. 

The time isn’t right

Professor Vlieghe’s view is shared by the Leuven University virologist Marc Van Ranst (photo below). Professor Van Ranst warns  “We are now only just at an initial reduction in the figures that are part of an epidemiological curve. It is only normal that people are optimistic, but this is not the time to significantly relax the measures”.

Professor Van Ranst is especially opposed to any increase in the size of the social bubble (the group of people from outside your home with whom you are allowed normal social interaction) from the current five.

“I notice that some, mainly in the French-speaking part of the country, are striving for this. I believe that it is still too early”.

“Of course no one finds the restrictions pleasant, because they restrict our social lives. But in a densely populated country like ours it is one of the only measures, apart from a lockdown, that we have to keep an epidemic under control”. 

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