Minister Vandenbroucke warns that COVID-19 crisis is not yet over in Belgium

The Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke warns that the crisis is far from finished, with Belgium still in ‘code yellow’ on the coronavirus barometer.

The health minister asserted that the admission in the health care center of COVID-19 patients is gradually increasing again, as well as some institutions are already deferring non-urgent care.

The earlier warning from himself or infectious disease specialist Erika Vlieghe has appeared to be ignored.

Moreover, he mentioned the statement, “I am not entirely at ease. We really should not forget that this virus is still going around. It isn’t easy in some hospitals. It is good that people realize that: it is a reason to be careful, but not to go back to ‘code orange‘ tomorrow. Still, if the situation were to deteriorate significantly now, orange would be back on the agenda.”

Vandenbroucke laments that the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) was not used for a more extended period of time since he believes it would have helped the booster campaign.

Additionally, he stated, “One should not underestimate how important the CST was as a motivation to get vaccinated. As soon as the CST was no longer compulsory, vaccination stopped. People in the vaccination centers will confirm that at that moment, all kinds of reservations were suddenly canceled.”

In Belgium, the impact of the CST on the vaccination campaign in Belgium was less evident (than in France, for example) because the vaccine program was already well advanced before the CST was implemented. “And we also introduced the CST very hesitantly. But it is particularly striking that the end of the CST coincided with the end of the vaccination campaign.”

Furthermore, while there are no figures for how many canceled their appointments for their booster dose or decided not to respond there, the Brussels-Capital Region also saw its vaccination uptake take a nosedive as soon as the country moved into ‘code yellow.’

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