Belgium sends Remdesivir to India, travel restrictions not increased

Belgium is sending medical aid to India that has been hit hard by the corona pandemic.  Recorded new cases have reached 350,000 a day and hospitals are overwhelmed. Meanwhile, restrictions on travel between India and Belgium are not being tightened up.

Belgium is donating 9,000 bottles of the drug Remdesivir worth 3 million euros. Belgian international development minister Meryame Kitir (Vooruit/ Flemish socialist) explained Belgium would replenish its own stocks thanks to a European order.

The supplies will reach India thanks to the intervention of the EU’s civil protection mechanism.  In Belgium B-Fast will co-ordinate.  

Restrictions on travel between India and Belgium are not being tightened up.  Travel to and from the EU remains banned, but exemptions exist.  Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst has called for these exceptions to be cut, while the Netherlands, France, Germany and Italy have introduced extra restrictions.

Development minister Kitir says a travel ban is an extremely strong response: “During the lockdown this had a great impact: imports and exports came to a halt.  We have to ensure that people aren’t hit too hard economically.”

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