“We filled a small hospital over the weekend”

Frank Vandenbroucke (Flemish socialist/Vooruit), the Belgian health minister, has spoken of his extreme concern with regard to the latest Covid data.  He insisted Belgium will have to pull out all the stops in the fight against this disease. 

426 patients with Covid were hospitalised over the weekend.  “We filled a small hospital with Covid patients over the weekend” the veteran politician told VRT.  “We will have to pull out all the stops across all sectors in order to turn the figures around.”

Mr Vandenbroucke took issue with the employers against the backdrop of significant numbers of outbreaks on the shopfloor.  “People should stay at home. Otherwise employers need to ensure greater protection.  We are offering rapid tests.  They start today for workers at Bpost (i.e. the semi-publicly owned postal services company). This should happen in more and more businesses.”

Vaccinations continue but the health minister warned that by the time all seniors and risk patients were immunised the month of May would be drawing to a close.

Mr Vandenbroucke also commented on the situation in schools that are the responsibility of the devolved governments. “We are allies in the fight to keep schools open.  For me this is a very important goal”. 

The federal health minister has welcomed the latest proposals from the sector and says he wants schools open fulltime and for good after Easter.

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