Belgium should stay in ‘Code Orange’ of COVID-19 barometer: Vlieghe

The chair of the GEMS expert group named Erika Vlieghe shared a piece of advice on Tuesday, March 23, with the government of Belgium that they should have stayed in ‘code orange’ of the coronavirus barometer for a little more time.

As the cases of the COVID-19 affected people is increasing and the dominance of the even more infectious BA.2-Omicron variant, Vlieghe warned the people to follow the restrictions.

The authorities should re-think about relaxing the complete restrictions by observing the current situation, Vlieghe highlighted on Tuesday.

She stated in a statement, “Despite all our enthusiasm for believing in the wishful thinking that the coronavirus epidemic was completely over, I think it would have been better if we had stayed in orange a little longer.”

Moreover, Belgium has switched to the “Code Yellow” in early March, despite not reaching all of the essential points for moving on.

However, Vlieghe mentioned that she admits her opinion is dissimilar from that of Corona Commissioner Pedro Facon and Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke, “but we should have lifted the measures more incrementally. Week after week, the GEMS Risk Assessment Group (RAG) also warned that this was going too fast.”

She emphasised that it is “very unfortunate” the facial mask mandate has been vanished around everywhere when the ‘Code Yellow’ went into effect. “This subject is susceptible, but those masks did have an effect.”

Currently, the increase in the figures depicts that the virus has not been faded, mentioned Vlieghe. “We have been telling the individuals for a longer time: ‘things are getting better, but they are not over yet.’ But suddenly and silently, and in the same week that Russia invaded Ukraine, the realm of freedom arrived. I hope we remain cautious.”

She underlined that she “does not want to create panic, or preach hellfire and damnation,” but “it is just a sober observation: it is not over yet. Yet, all measures have been abandoned.”

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