“If the figures continue to increase, the number of hospitalisations will mean that more and more non-Covid interventions are delayed”.
Mr Vandenbroucke noted that the public health situation in Brussels and Wallonia was the worst and most dangerous in Europe. He added that infection rates were 50% higher than in the Greater Paris Region, which is often seen as a benchmark by Belgium’s Francophones.
The health minister brushed off criticism that the measures agreed on Friday didn’t go far enough. He stated that the central authorities had introduced basic measures that local authorities could add to. He added that people’s behaviour was the “essential factor”.
Mr Vandenbroucke said new measures were on the way including a new testing regime: “A new strategy that will combine swab, saliva and fast tests is being developed”.
Fast tests may soon be refunded for certain categories of people.