Two weeks after a virtual meeting that focused on caution, a new Consultation Committee, bringing together the federal government and the federated entities, is meeting this Friday to decide what must be put in place to curb the spread of the second wave of the coronavirus Belgium.
New measures will be detailed at a press conference. A day to follow live on Sudinfo.be.
13:01: The number of clusters is decreasing in nursing and care homes. More information in our article here.
13h : The consultation committee has started.
12:48 p.m .: What will be discussed at the Consultation Committee
The Consultation Committee, which meets at 1 p.m., will have several points to address today, especially since it should be the last Committee of the year, except in an emergency.
The Committee will address the issue of reopening non-essential businesses. Several ministers have said that the issue will indeed be on the agenda.
As the holidays approach, the issue of the social bubble should also be addressed. However, we should not expect a significant easing. “It will be a Christmas on a small scale, it will be a careful Christmas,” insisted Alexander De Croo. The possibility of a reduced curfew for December 24 and 31 is also raised.
11:38 a.m .: According to Yves Van Laethem, the start of the school year did not relaunch the coronavirus epidemic
The return of students to classes after the extended autumn holidays did not have a visible impact on coronavirus contaminations, said Yves Van Laethem, French-speaking interfederal spokesperson, on Friday, during the presentation of the figures of the Sciensano public health institute.
But the resumption of testing of asymptomatic people had a slight influence on the number of cases recorded.
9:59 am: “This is not the time to organize big parties, or even small ones”
Infectious disease specialist Erika Vlieghe, head of the infectious diseases department at Antwerp University Hospital, called on Belgians to be cautious during the Christmas period a few hours before the Consultation Committee.
“Now is not really the time to organize big parties, or even small ones,” she said on VRT-radio’s De Ochtend program.
“I would be very careful. Hospitals are overcrowded and the healthcare industry is still cracking. Now is not the time to have big parties, and not even small ones either. I also think a lot of people understand that, ”added Professor Vlieghe.
“We better focus on what’s possible. Are we really ready to jeopardize the profit we have made? », Continued the former president of the group of experts in charge of the strategy of exit from containment (GEES).
Erika Vlieghe also stressed, on the issue of reopening non-essential shops, that it was more prudent to avoid heavily frequented places in poorly ventilated areas.
9:25 am: towards a reopening of non-essential shops
While the Consultative Committee meets at 1 p.m. this Friday, the reopening of non-essential shops seems to be taking shape in earnest. This morning, two members of the Consultative Committee suggested that the reopening of these businesses should be authorized, subject to conditions. “This is on the agenda of the consultation committee this afternoon,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Employment and Labor, Pierre-Yves Dermagne (PS), at the microphone of the radio private Bel-RTL. Before specifying: “As long as it (this reopening) is well framed, by strict rules”.
The Minister-President of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Pierre-Yves Jeholet (MR), for his part described as “essential” the reopening of these businesses under strict conditions, during the Matin Première program of which he was the ‘guest on Friday morning.
“Because if we do not do it, the risks are much greater, including on the psychological and mental side of people and including on the economic side,” he said, stressing how much the independents, the traders and SMEs “struggle”, “suffer” and “die”.
Pierre-Yves Jeholet also insisted on the health risk that, according to him, the fact of going abroad to make purchases, in neighboring countries which reopen their trade. “Tell yourself that all Belgians will make the trips to get gifts, to go shopping. And that, in terms of contamination, it will be worse than not opening them, ”he said.
6:39 am: The number of hospitalized patients continues to decline
Yesterday / Thursday, 4,395 Covid-19 patients were hospitalized, according to data released Friday morning by Sciensano. A number that continues to drop, while 4,570 hospital beds were still occupied on Wednesday by patients infected with the coronavirus.
Intensive care was treating 1,034 patients on Thursday, 671 of whom required respiratory assistance. Here again, we see a decrease in 24 hours. Over the past seven days, a daily average of 256.9 hospital admissions has been recorded, a decrease of 31%.
Over the period from 17 to 23 November, 2,764.6 infections on average were detected per day (-37%). Since the start of the epidemic, 567,532 cases have been detected in total. The incidence over 14 days reached 434.1 contaminations per 100,000 inhabitants.