“It’s heading in the right direction” notes Prof Van Damme, “but it’s going more slowly that hoped”.
The epidemiologist told VRT News that the lockdown measures are now starting to have an impact, but he believes more could be done: “What could have improved the impact would have been home-working. Businesses need to have a good think about all the things that can still be sorted through home-working (aka telework) to keep as many people as possible at home”.
On Friday ministers from the Belgian and devolved administrations meet to decide on future action, but relaxations are not foremost in Prof Van Damme’s mind. “We need to clearly indicate that we are on the right road. Our priority is above all to get the figures down a lot more”.
Prof Van Damme refused to be drawn on the impact of the reopening of schools after the extended half-term break: “Too early, but for the minute it’s going exceedingly well. I think we took the right decision.”