Nicolas Maeterlinck

Biostatistician says “It’s important to act quickly if we want to keep hospital occupancy rates under control”

The Leuven and Hasselt University biostatistician Geert Molenberghs has told VRT News that he is deeply concerned about the rise in coronavirus infections and hospitalisations. Speaking on VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘De ochtend’, Professor Molenberghs said that “Even in the most favourable scenario whereby the current 40% rise is the maximum that will be reached, there will be days in the coming week with between 7,000 and 7,500 infections”. 

This leaves us heading towards between 900 and 1,000 intensive care beds being occupied by COVID-19 patients.

"This is a very high figure, far too high for comfort”, Professor Molenberghs said. Moreover, the biostatistician adds that this would also leave us at a very high plateau.

“One rise in the figures follows another. There are fluctuations, but the figures continue to increase. This is becoming very dangerous; we can’t manage this very well”.

"It is important that we act now if we want to at least go some way to keeping the hospital occupancy rate under control”.

But what measures are most urgently required?

“That is a decision that the politicians will have to make, but the situation is not too favourable at the moment”.

Professor Molenberghs added that the quicker and more severe any measures are, the less time that they will need to be in force. This could enable the planned relaxation of the coronavirus measures announced earlier this month to go head which would mean that our efforts during a relatively short period would be rewarded all the more.




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