Health Minister “Lockdown is an emergency brake that is necessary to force down the number of contacts”
The Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Flemish socialist) has told VRT News that the lockdown that gets under way on Monday is necessary if where are to bring down the number of physical contacts between people and curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Speaking on Friday’s late evening television news, Mr Vandenbroucke said "The number of infections and the number of hospital admissions are rising so quickly that we needed to activate the emergency brake. The lockdown is the emergency brake. People will be able to go to food shops and companies will be able to carry on working. After 15 November we will very cautiously be able to reopen the schools, but apart from that it’s a lockdown. This means that people will be able to have as few contacts as people”.
Mr Vandenbroucke added "Every day that you wait means that the brake will have to be on for longer. If you wait for too long you lose time. I myself have a very uneasy feeling about what we are doing to the hospitals and to the people that work in the hospitals. We must ensure that the situation doesn’t get even worse. We have reached that point. Now we must ensure that the emergency brake works”.
The reason why the extra measures are being taken is clear "We are doing this to prevent deaths. This is about us wanting to avoid the hospitals becoming completely full. It is not a good idea for those in the contact professions (hairdressers, barbers, beauticians) to open for longer between now and Monday. It is painful for them that they have to close, but we need to bring the number of physical contacts down”.