Minister of the Interior Annelies Verlinden (CD&V) had on Thursday morning Radio 1 already announced that there was a possibility that the Consultation Committee would meet early. “If it is necessary to act, we must act. We have always said that we can act quickly if necessary, and when the numbers present themselves in such a way that action is needed, we also have to make decisions.”
And that Consultation Committee will already take place on Friday morning at 8 a.m., Prime Minister De Croo announced during question time about the corona situation in the House. “The situation in intensive care is worse than the worst-case scenario by experts a week ago. That is why I have decided to have the Consultation Committee meet tomorrow. To evaluate the situation together with the various governments,” said De Croo.
“We are going to work on three slopes,” he continued. “Firstly: speed up the vaccination, and especially the booster shot. That remains our best protection. Second, we need to look at how we can support healthcare. The pressure in primary care and the hospitals is very great. Third, we have to look at a package of measures, non-medical interventions, and we are also going to have to look at new support measures. We are not going to let anyone down.”
This suggests that in certain sectors a reduced activity will be allowed again, or even a closure. “We will have to limit or stop the most risky activities the most,” said Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke shortly afterwards. He talked about extra measures in all sectors: education, leisure, professional life, and so on. “We shouldn’t point at each other. We’re all in the same boat. But we must take strict measures with immediate effect. Waiting means even more misery.”
According to Vandenbroucke, the current situation does not tolerate any delay. Today 1.25 million people have been vaccinated with a booster shot. They must be followed quickly by large groups of people. On Saturday, the health ministers will finalize the approach to that third jab, it said.
comply with measures
Prime Minister De Croo also emphasized the importance of complying with the measures. “Measures mean nothing if they are not followed. Make sure the measures are followed and thank you to those who are doing so today and who have done so in recent months,” said the prime minister.
The Kern will meet on Thursday evening to prepare that Consultation Committee.