Are latest measures enough to stop the virus?"Let there be no taboos, like a closure of the schools"

Virologists and health workers were disappointed with the measures announced yesterday to stop the rise of coronavirus. The president of the Flemish greens Meyrem Almaci understands them and says that fellow politicians should consider keeping school children home for a week, taking into account that corona figures are taking a turn for the worse. The Flemish Education Minister Ben Weyts has always opposed this idea strongly: "This should be the last measure we take in any scenario."

Virologists and hospital staff were disappointed yesterday as the government failed to take strong measures to curb coronavirus. Virologist Marc Van Ranst was talking of "a missed chance" and expressed his deep concern. "We may be lucky and see the figures calm down, but if we are going into a third wave this is not enough." It is thought that mainly the schools and the workplace are helping the virus to gain ground again. 

While corona tests are being suggested to all those who can't work from home, a closure of the schools was also on the cards, but instead no decision was taken. Schools were given homework: they have to come up with "a detailed and effective plan" to stop the virus by Monday. 

Yesterday was a missed chance

Speaking in the VRT's breakfast radio show "De ochtend" Meyrem Almaci (Groen) says that an early closure of the schools (the Easter holidays are coming up in two weeks' time) should be an option. 

Children and teenagers would follow the lessons from home on their computer for one week to let the situation cool down. 

"I think we should keep an open mind. It's not black-or-white, and other measures should also be looked at, but at the same time we really should consider keeping our school children and pupils at home." 

Maybe we should the pause button for our schools

Almaci received support from Margot Cloet, who is at the helm of the umbrella organisation for health care workers 'Zorgnet Icuro'. She thinks the present measures in schools - such as the obligation for children in the fifth and sixth year of primary school to wear a face mask - will not do. "Maybe we should  press the button to take a break. I hope we can reach a normal situation by the summer, but in order to have that, we should be stricter at present."  

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