The Federal Minister of Health returned to the coronavirus epidemic in Belgium, the indicators of which are on the rise. The situation is particularly critical in Brussels, in the province of Liège and in the German-speaking region. “These are worrying figures, but I believe that we must first scrupulously apply the existing measures “, said Frank Vandenbroucke. “The Brussels and Walloon governments were right to maintain a whole series of measures such as the wearing of masks, social distancing and the use of the Covid Safe Ticket”.
The Socialist called on everyone to follow these measures, as well as to monitor their implementation. “I believe it is a security instrument. It is also, in a certain sense, an instrument of freedom, because the Covid Safe Ticket allows freedom in cafes, restaurants, clubs“.
A “fragile” situation
The Minister of Health also addressed the low vaccination rate still observed in Brussels, Liège and Charleroi. “It’s a risky and fragile situation“, admits Vandebroucke.”We can clearly see a correlation between the number of contaminations on one side and non-vaccination on the other.“. The minister recalled that the figures showed that the risk of being hospitalized decreased very significantly when one is vaccinated, even if he did not give a precise figure.”It’s crazy not to get vaccinated, it’s nonsense“, added the socialist minister.
“Despite all the efforts made by all the competent ministers, progress in Brussels remains too low“added Frank Vandenbroucke, stressing that the situation in Liège and Charleroi was not so serious.”I believe that efforts must be stepped up. It is really risky to see a circulation of this virus, which is nevertheless dangerous, and a population where, as in Brussels, almost half of the population is not vaccinated“.
In Flanders, where vaccination is more advanced, most health measures have been abolished. According to the Minister of Health, this proves that it is possible to differentiate the measures according to the health situation. “Personally, I regret that the Flemish government does not allow the use of the Covid Safe Ticket in the Brussels periphery “, he conceded all the same, adding that the problems are not that different in Vilvoorde. “I believe that it would have been smarter, on the part of the Flemish government, to allow the use of the Covid Safe Ticket in the outskirts of Brussels“.
What about a 3rd dose?
Frank Vandenbroucke also addressed the issue of the third dose of vaccination. He announced that an opinion was sought from the experts on the matter. This should arrive by the beginning of November and will address several questions, such as the need for a 3rd dose for healthcare workers or people under 65 with co-morbidities. As for a 3rd dose for all Belgians, the Minister does not completely close the door. “I’m not going to say no, but currently we don’t have any convincing data that leads us to conclude that the population should be given a 3rd dose.“, he adds.