Biostatistician says “there is no main reason for the coronavirus figures hardly falling anymore”

The Leuven and Hasselt University biostatistician Geert Molenberghs has told VRT News that there is no clear primary reason for the slowing down to a near standstill of the fall in the figures relating to the novel coronavirus pandemic in Belgium. Professor Molenberghs says that one possible explanation is the change in testing strategy that came into effect late last month.  “For quite a time we didn’t test people without symptoms that had had a high-risk contact. This provided opportunities for networks to form that went under the radar and are only emerging now, for example in care homes”, Professor Molenberghs said. 


However, this is certainly not the only reason. The reopening of the shops at the start of the month and the reopening of schools after the extended half-term break can also have had an impact on the figures. “The reopening of schools means that people move about more. Children being at school, means that their parents can move about more easily and can for example go into to the office. This combined with the reopening of the shops means that people are more mobile and in turn this can lead to an increase in the number of infections”.  

Elsewhere in Europe infections are on the rise. Countries such as France and Germany have already announced stricter measures to try and curb the spread of the virus.

"It is certainly a difficult period in the whole of Europe. There are more and more countries where the number of infections is increasing, and this can pose a threat to us. So, it is to our advantage that these countries are acting. The measures they are taking are like those in Belgium. Because we shouldn’t forget that we have been able to do it up until now. We were among the worst countries and now we are among the best six countries. Let us hope that the fall will continue once again”, Professor Molenberghs continued.

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