Yves Van Laethem: “The number of contaminations could swell by 10%”

The interfederal spokesperson sees no clear explanation for the moment regarding the slowing down of the fall in contamination.

Lhe new Covid-19 screening strategy in Belgium will come into force on November 23. This could “inflate by 10%” the figures relating to contamination, said Wednesday the interfederal spokesperson for the fight against the new coronavirus Yves Van Laethem.

Conversely, the scientist sees no clear explanation for the moment regarding the slowing down of the drop in contamination: “These figures are now halving every ten days, whereas, until recently, this drop of 50 % was done every 7-8 days. There is therefore a certain slowdown in the drop in contamination figures. For the moment, we do not have a clear explanation on this subject but it is certainly a signal that must be followed in the days to come. “

New screening strategy

PCR tests on asymptomatic patients who have had high-risk contacts or who return from travel in the red zone had been stopped one month ago, following a traffic jam of the system.

“We recommend doing this test on the seventh day after the last high-risk contact or after returning to Belgium,” explains Yves Van Laethem.

In the new screening strategy, the theoretical quarantine period remains 10 days, to which must be added four additional precautionary days.

“If you have a test done on D + 7 and it comes back to you on D + 8 or D + 9 as positive, we switch at this time from quarantine to isolation, for a minimum of seven days if you remain asymptomatic”, detailed the spokesperson. If a person becomes symptomatic, isolation will be a minimum of seven days from the onset of symptoms. To get out of it, you also need at least three days without temperature and a reduction in symptoms, recalls Yves Van Laethem. “If the test is negative, then you can be released from quarantine. “

The specialist insists on the importance of respecting the measures in force, in particular social distance. “The test itself is not 100% safe. (…) It is not an ‘all risks insurance’. “Quarantine is” fundamental to breaking the chains of transmission of the virus, “he concluded.


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