CEO of Sint-Jan Hospital in Brussels: “Hopefully we will be able to turn the tide”

From today (Monday 28 September) extra measures come into force to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in the Brussels-Capital Region. The measures include mandatory closing times of 10pm for night shops and 11pm for bars and a bad on gatherings of more than 10 people between 11pm and 6am. 

The measures have been brought in to stem what the authorities say is a worryingly rapid rise in the number of coronavirus infections. Currently the infection rate in the 19 municipalities that make up the Brussels-Capital Region averages 180 per 100,000 population. This is 9  times the warning threshold figure of 20 infections per 100,000 population.

The CEO of the Sint-Jan Hospital in the centre of Brussels Hadewig De Corte told VRT News that the extra measures are absolutely necessary. “It is essential that we keep our eye on the ball. Things have been a little bit unfortunate over the past few weeks. On the one hand the federal authorities gave the impression that measures were being relaxed while at the same time the number of infections was rising sharply. It was difficult to follow”.

The most important thing we can do is to uphold social distancing. “We live a big city among diferent groups and cultures. People that live in poverty and have fewer means need to be informed. The reality is that information doesn’t always get through easily to everyone. We see in the hospital that there are people that are unaware of things. We need to target information more effectively”.

Hadewig De Corte confirms that the number of hospital admissions is rising “We have seen a paid rise, it is shooting up. At the start most patients that tested positive weren’t ill, but now we see the number of hospital admission rising hugely, also people that need heavy intensive care”.

She hopes that the new measures that have been introduced in Brussels will turn the tide. “We remain concerned. If we get through this the winter is still ahead of us and we might encounter other flair ups”.

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