Steven Van Gucht: “I felt most unsafe on th...

© Marc Gysens

Which policy should we choose: 1G, 2G, 3G? It remains a difficult issue. But virologist Steven Van Gucht clarified during De Afspraak that these systems should not stand alone. A combination with mouth masks, distance and ventilation is crucial. “I have felt most unsafe in recent months at those CST events.”

1G, 2G or 3G? That was the scenario that virologist Steven Van Gucht (Sciensano) was presented with during the broadcast of De Afspraak Tuesday evening. The reason for this was a study by the Dutch University of Delft. They simulated a fictitious dance event with 100,000 people.

ALSO READ. Should we go for a 1G, 2G or 3G policy? One will reduce the number of infections sharply, but the other is even better

Briefly, the results: at the 1G event, where only testing is done, there were 24 infections. “But you have to test those 100,000 people. How do you do that logistically?” said Van Gucht. At the 2G event, where everyone is vaccinated or cured, there were 49 infections. At the 3G event, tested, vaccinated or cured, there were 75 infections. That 3G system is the one we apply in our country with the Covid Safe Ticket (CST). Van Gucht did add that there were also a lot of hospital admissions with the 3G system because non-vaccinated people were also present and their chance of hospitalization is greater.

“All those models are half measures and imperfect. In all cases you have infections. In itself it is insufficient. That, I think, is the mistake we made with the 3G system. That that one stand-alone measure. If you apply that, everything else disappears. That is of course wrong”, said Van Gucht. “It is important to combine that with other measures: distance, mouth mask, ventilation. It certainly has its use, but by combining you are going to make it really safe. They have been quite optimistic in that study.”

“I am not a fan of the system (with the Covid Safe Ticket, ed.) if you use that as the only measure. I have felt most unsafe in the past few months at those CST events. Once you enter, you are scanned, all the rules expire. Everyone wanted to talk to me, I had too many contacts. I thought: ‘Now I must be infected’. It hasn’t happened yet, miraculously. But I’d rather we just keep a little distance during a reception like this. You may wear a mask. I would feel much more at ease. And that was not the case at a CST event. And I didn’t feel comfortable with that. It was too early.”


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