The Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander de Croo, decreed this Friday the curfew in all Belgian territory and the closure of bars and restaurants, to combat what he described as “exponential increase” of cases of covid-19 in Belgium.
Noting that “the numbers are alarming and significantly higher than in March and April”, when “tough measures” were taken, De Croo said that the Belgian government’s mission is to “bring those numbers down” and that for this, “stricter measures” will have to be adopted.
Among the measures adopted – and which will take effect from next Monday – is the curfew between 0 am and 5 am, the prohibition of the sale of alcohol after 8 pm, and the closing of bars and coffees over the period of a month.
“Cafes and restaurants are going to close, this is a temporary measure that will be in effect for a month. An assessment will be made in two weeks to decide whether the measure will continue,” said De Croo.
Teleworking is also mandatory “whenever possible” and only meeting with, at most, one person outside the household will be authorized.
“We are aware that these measures are very harsh and that, for many people, they are unfair, but this virus is also unfair. Even though it affects all of us, it mainly affects the most vulnerable people and we must adopt these measures to protect these people. “, underlined the Belgian Prime Minister.
De Croo described the current situation as “serious”, referring that it is an “exponential growth of the pandemic” with the number of cases “doubling weekly”, and that “today everyone resents the presence” of the new covid-19 coronavirus.
“The difference with respect to March and April is that the virus is much closer to us: we know everyone who is quarantined, who is infected or who is seriously ill. Everyone today resents the presence of this virus,” he said. Croo.
The prime minister also stressed that the next few days will continue to be “very difficult” in terms of numbers.
“It is important to draw attention: in the coming days, the news will continue to be bad,” said De Croo.
“Without health, there is no freedom; without health, there is no happiness; without health, there is no life. Today, we all have to take a step back so that tomorrow we can take a step forward together”, concluded the first Belgian administration.
According to data released today, between 6 and 12 October, Belgium recorded a daily average of 5,976 new infections, a 96% increase over the previous week, for a total of 191,959 cases since the beginning of the pandemic and a balance sheet of 10,327 deaths.
The covid-19 pandemic has already caused more than one million and ninety-nine thousand deaths worldwide since December last year, including 2,149 in Portugal.