Speaking at Tuesday’s press conference Professor Van Gucht said “This threshold was very carefully chosen based on epidemiological models. 75 is a relatively safe threshold in the sense that we would like to be under it before relaxing the measures which we would do step by step. 75 is not too high and allows a certain margin to turn the tide before you end up with the (hospital) system becoming overstretched. The principle is simple: if we react early and strongly enough, it has a greater impact and means that you have to keep up your efforts for not as long”.
But won’t the current cold snap have an influence on the spread of coronavirus? "We know relatively little about this”, Professor Van Gucht said.
"We know that cold weather can encourage the spread of flu viruses. Firstly, this is because cold air is often dry air, and this can facilitate the spread of aerosols. The droplets that we emit become smaller and can float and travel longer distances. Secondly our sinuses are less resistant when the weather is cold. But once again there is a lot of speculation about this and relatively little hard evidence. Furthermore, when the weather is cold, we are typically indoors, which increases the chance of infection”.