Dr Geert Meyfroidt: "3rd wave is here; all we can do is to keep it as small as possible”

With all the figures relating to the coronavirus pandemic in Belgium now rising again the Leuven University intensive care expert Geert Meyfroidt says that it is clear that the third wave of the pandemic is now upon us. Speaking in VRT News’ Sunday morning topical discussion programme ‘De zevende dag’ Dr Meyfroidt said that all we can do now is to try and keep the third wave as small as possible. 

"We already know that the figures will rise again after the Christmas holidays. We won’t have the choice; it will be coming. There will be a peak, whether we call it a wave or not”.

“The only thing that we can do is to try and keep it as small as possible. That is really important”, Dr Meyfroidt said.  

The intensive care specialist added that he fears for an expediential rise like during the first and second waves. “The earlier we start (curbing the spread of the virus) and the better we are at it, the smaller the wave will be”.

Motivation an important factor

Dr Meyfroidt believes that three factors are behind the recent increase in the number of coronavirus infections.

"Schools are a factor that play a role. They are of course now closed. A second factor is foreign contacts, and a third factor is people’s motivation.”

The issue of foreign contacts is being addressed. On Friday the Consultative Committee that is made up of representatives of the federal, regional and language community governments decided on that foreigners must present a negative coronavirus test in order for them to be allowed to enter the country.  Moreover, the authorities “strongly advise against” foreign travel.  Dr Meyfroidt says that he is disappointed that the Consultative Committee didn’t go a step further and ban foreign travel altogether.

The intensive care expert believes that people’s motivation to stick to the rules is the most important factor.  

"I have the impression this is now starting to change if I look at the people around me. Those that were planning to breach the rules to a greater or a lesser extent during the festive period are now saying that the won’t. It is this that will save us. If you look at what happened in the United States with Thanksgiving causing a gigantic surge in cases”

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