Flemish Government has no plans to follow Brussels and Wallonia in tightening coronavirus measures

The Flemish Minister whose responsibilities include Brussels and youth policy Benjamin Dalle (Christian democrat, photo above) has said in an interview with VRT Radio 1 that he finds it regrettable that the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region waited until yesterday (Saturday 24 October) before tightening the measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in the 19 municipalities that make up the capital. 

"A reticent stance was taken rather than acting decisively. If I compare this with what happened in Antwerp this summer I feel as a resident of Brussels myself that Brussels has rather lacked leadership”.

Mr Dalle added that the measures that come into force tomorrow (Monday 26 September) are “painful” for example for the cultural and sport sectors and for youth work. However, he believes that they are necessary. “The thing now is to uphold the rules”, the Minister said.  

While he believes that stricter measures are necessary in Brussels, he doesn’t believe that this is the case in the 5 provinces that make up the Flemish Region. This is despite a number of virologists, A&E doctors and some opposition politicians calling on the Flemish Government to follow the example set by Brussels and Wallonia.

Mr Dalle told VRT Radio 1 that "The situation very serious in the whole country, but the figures in Brussels are quite a bit more dramatic. If you look at the occupation level in Brussels hospitals it is double that of hospitals in Flanders. We are monitoring the situation daily. New measures were introduced by the Consultative Committee on Friday. We have just brought in a (national) curfew and the rules for the cultural sector have been tightened. However, as regards the future, I don’t have a crystal ball”.  

Greens call for extra measures

The Flemish green party Groen is calling on the Flemish Government to take additional measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The greens say that taking the same measures as those that have been taken in Wallonia and Brussels would allow Flanders to get one step ahead of the virus.

The leader of the Green Group in the Flemish Parliament Björn Rzoska (photo above) told VRT News “The rate at which corona spreads is frightening. Controlling corona can only be done with tough measures. The challenge is to ensure that Flanders doesn’t become one big breading ground and that our hospital can stay on top of corona”.
The Green Party is also calling for a review of the support measures for those in the events sector in order to better prepare it for an unpredictable time ahead.  

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