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Governments meeting to decide response to omicron

Belgium’s consultative committee, the Codeco, which groups the country’s various governments and has the final say on corona measures, meets at 2PM today to discuss fresh action. New restrictions are expected given the rise in omicron cases. A lockdown like in the Netherlands is not anticipated, at least not at the minute.

Overall corona figures are falling, but omicron, about which little is known, is quickly increasing its share.  The number of omicron cases are doubling every two or three days in Belgium.   On Friday it made up 10% of cases, by Monday this had risen to 20%.  The variant is expected to become dominant ahead of the New Year.

In contrast with the Netherlands Belgium has made greater headway in getting boosters out. 36.5% of adults are boosted here compared to 14% north of the border.  The Dutch also have far fewer ICU beds than Belgium. This explains the different approach.

Government ministers will be discussing proposals put forward by the GEMS panel of experts.  The panel’s ideas leaked on Tuesday (see inset). The experts have suggested two kinds of proposals: measures that can be taken now and more stringent measures that can be introduced if the situation goes pear-shaped.

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