Christophe Licoppe

Professor Van Gucht “This is no one’s fault”

The virologist Steven Van Gucht has told VRT News that he is deeply concerned about the recent rise in the figures relating to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Speaking on Monday morning Professor Van Gucht said. "We have had several days with more than 5,000 infections. The last time there were so many was in October and November during the second wave. We are waiting anxiously to see if we have reached a tipping point. Will this turn around? We see a rise of 40%, I think that this will soon rise to 50%. We don’t envisage things peaking straight away". 

But are the current measures sufficient? When answering this Professor Van Gucht is particularly cautious. “To a degree it is something of a gamble: are we going to continue with the current measures and hope that things calm down by themselves or do we go for a tightening up of the measures to take control of the curve. No one wants the measures to be tightened they would rather wait”. 

Professor Van Gucht went on to say that the hospitals are now filling up again. “I suspect that the number of patients in intensive care will soon top 600. It is getting busier and busier there”. However, the virologist refuses to attribute blame for the recent rise in the coronavirus figures. 

"The virus is currently everywhere. There is more virus in circulation than there was during the past 3 to 4 months. This is no one’s fault. School and companies are following up infections well, but we have a lot less clear a picture regarding infections in the private domain. There are people often infect friends or family members”.  

A tightening of the measures will only have the desired effect if they enjoy public support. “Tightening the measures is only beneficial is this enjoys public support. We already have a lot of measure in force. People are already giving up a lot and this is psychologically testing”. 

Nevertheless, Professor Van Gucht doesn’t think that the current measures will have a drastic impact on the figures. "It would be wise to not wait too long to consider a further tightening up of the measures”. 

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