“We should take into account that the figures might rise again”, says infectious diseases expert

The Head of the group of experts that advises the authorities on coronavirus policy GEMS, Professor Erika Vlieghe has told VRT News that the number of coronavirus infections in Belgium could start to rise again. The infectious diseases expert told VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘De ochtend’ that “Being realistic” Belgium could follow other European countries such as Portugal and the UK in seeing the number of new infections starting to rise again. 

Professor Vlieghe added that the more infectious Delta variant of coronavirus will become the dominant stain of the virus in Belgium before the end of the month. This can in turn lead to an increase in the number of new coronavirus infections. 

This cannot be thwarted by vaccination alone. “Only a third of the population is fully immunised and that is not sufficient”, Professor Vlieghe said. Those that are vaccinated are much less likely to become ill but can still carry and spread the virus. Consequently, Professor Vlieghe is not in favour of mass events being held nor of people travelling to countries, such as Portugal, where the Delta variant is prevalent.  

“Everything is dependent on our behaviour. If we have a lot of contacts, we provide the infectious variants with more opportunity to spread. Enjoy the summer, yes, but keep your distance, wear a mask, and don’t meet up with twenty different people every day. If you do do this, it should preferably be done outside”, the infectious diseases expert told VRT News. 

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