the new Consultation Committee has started, non-essential companies will (immediately) reopen

Two weeks after a virtual meeting focused on caution, a new Consultation Committee, bringing together the federal government and federated entities, will meet this Friday to decide what to do to stop the spread of the second wave of the coronavirus . Belgium.

New measures will be worked out during a press conference. A day to follow live on

Straight away

13:01: The number of clusters in nursing and care homes is decreasing. More information in our article here.

13 hours: The consultation committee has started.

12:48 pm: What is discussed in the Consultation Committee

The Consultation Committee, meeting at 1:00 pm, will have several points on the agenda today, especially as it should be the last Commission of the year, except in an emergency.

The committee will consider the reopening of non-essential companies. Several ministers have said that the issue will indeed be on the agenda.

As the holidays approach, the issue of the social bubble also needs to be addressed. However, we should not expect any significant easing. “It will be a small-scale Christmas, it will be a cautious Christmas,” insisted Alexander De Croo. The option of an abbreviated curfew for December 24 and 31 will also be increased.

11:38 am: According to Yves Van Laethem, the start of the school year has not relaunched the coronavirus epidemic

The return of students to classes after the extended autumn break had no visible impact on coronavirus infections, Yves Van Laethem, French-speaking interfederal spokesman, said Friday during the presentation of the figures from the Institute of Public Health of Sciensano.

But the resumption of testing in asymptomatic people had a slight impact on the number of recorded cases.

9:59 am: “This is not the time to throw big parties, or even small ones”

Infectious disease specialist Erika Vlieghe, head of the infectious diseases department of the University Hospital Antwerp, called on the Belgians a few hours before the Consultation Committee to be careful during the Christmas period.

“This is not really the time to organize large or even small parties,” she said on VRT radio’s program De Oorrow.

‘I would be very careful. Hospitals are overcrowded and healthcare is still creaking. Now is not the time for big parties, not even small ones. I also think a lot of people understand that, ”adds Professor Vlieghe.

“We can concentrate better on what is possible. Are we really ready to jeopardize the profits we’ve made? », Continued the former chairman of the group of experts responsible for the exit from containment strategy (GEES).

Erika Vlieghe also stressed, regarding the reopening of non-essential stores, that it was more prudent to avoid high-traffic areas in poorly ventilated areas.

9:45 am: Towards a reopening of non-essential stores

As the Consultation Committee meets this Friday at 1 p.m., the reopening of non-essential stores appears to be taking serious shape. This morning two members of the Consultation Committee proposed to grant conditional permission for the reopening of these companies. “This is on the agenda of the consultation committee this afternoon,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Work and Labor Pierre-Yves Dermagne (PS) at the microphone of the radio. private Bel-RTL. Before specifying: “As long as it (this reopening) is properly framed, by strict rules”.

The Prime Minister of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Pierre-Yves Jeholet (MR), in turn described the reopening of these companies under strict conditions as “essential” during the Matin Première program of which he was the guest on Friday morning.

“Because if we don’t, the risks are much greater, also on the psychological and mental side of people and also on the economic side,” he said, emphasizing how much the independents, the traders and SMEs “struggle,” “suffer”. and “die”.

Pierre-Yves Jeholet also highlighted the health risk that he believes is the fact of going abroad to make purchases, in neighboring countries reopening their trade. “Remember that all Belgians will make the trip to pick up presents, to go shopping. And that, in terms of contamination, it will be worse than not opening them, ”he said.

6:39 am: The number of hospital patients continues to decline

Yesterday / Thursday, 4,395 Covid-19 patients were hospitalized, according to data released by Sciensano Friday morning. A number that continues to decline, while 4,570 hospital beds were occupied by patients infected with the corona virus on Wednesday.

On Thursday, 1034 patients were treated in intensive care, 671 of whom needed breathing assistance. Here too we see a decrease in 24 hours. Over the past seven days, an average of 256.9 hospital admissions were registered daily, a decrease of 31%.

In the period from 17 to 23 November, an average of 2,764.6 infections per day was detected (-37%). A total of 567,532 cases have been identified since the onset of the epidemic. The incidence over 14 days reached 434.1 infections per 100,000 inhabitants.

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