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Virologist Marc Van Ranst: "Now it must really get through this is a lockdown”

The Leuven University (KUL) virologist Marc Van Ranst has told VRT News that he is satisfied with the measures announced after Friday’s meeting of representatives of the federal, regional and language community governments. 

Speaking on VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘De ochtend’, Professor Van Ranst said “I think that all virologists are satisfied. Of course, we remain concerned and would like to call on everyone to follow the measures as well as possible. These are maximum rules, where you don’t have to do the maximum that is allowed. Take the example of the “cuddle contacts”. If you can have fewer than is allowed it can only help”.

Professor Van Ranst says that he doesn’t think that there is much difference between the new lockdown and the first lockdown in the spring.  

“We have dealt with a number of things differently. The parks are remaining open, youth work will be given greater support and during the day we will be able to travel to where we wish. We have tried to prevent endless discussions like those we had last time with people that have second homes. However, this largely ties in with what we did the first time. And it is necessary, the figures need to fall drastically”.

During recent weeks relatively strict measures were already in force. Professor Van Ranst says that it is still too early to draw any conclusions about their effectiveness.  

“However, the early indications haven’t pointed to a sharp fall, so we had to do something. On the other hand, then the mindset among the population was different. Not it really must sink in, this is a lockdown and the measures need to be upheld”.

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