Belgium mulls lifting COVID-19 lockdown
In the face of calls to relax the current lockdown measures, De Croo spoke on Belgium's RTBF radio station to unveil plans to end all lockdown restrictions, adding that the current measures "are starting to weigh on everyone."
However, he stressed that the decision to lift the restrictions either in March, April or May must be based on scientific facts.
The country's "Consultative Committee" is scheduled to meet this Friday to decide the next steps.
Meanwhile, Belgium is continuing its vaccination campaign. "Since Monday, over 80 percent of patients in nursing and care homes have been vaccinated," Sabine Stordeur, project manager at the vaccination task force, said on Tuesday.
In total, over 400,000 vaccine doses have already been administered in Belgium. This figure represents roughly four percent of the adult population, said Stordeur.
In the coming weeks, people aged 65 and over living at home, and at-risk patients aged 18 to 64 will be vaccinated. By May, the general public will start to receive personal invitation with unique identifiers.
The number of hospitalized coronavirus patients has been on the increase in the country. From Feb. 13 to 19, an average number of new infections was 2,099 per day, the Sciensano public health institute said on Tuesday.
To date, Belgium has recorded 755,594 COVID-19 infections and 21,923 deaths. ■