Steven Van Gucht: “If we had given free rein to the virus, we would have had 53,000 deaths”

The virologist is worried about citizens’ fatigue in the face of health measures.

10,000 dead, I don’t think anyone thought it would go that fast ”. The virologist Steven Van Gucht, interfederal spokesperson, gave an interview to Het Nieuwsblad, at the approach of the milestone of 10,000 deaths linked to the coronavirus in our country. “We are one of the few countries to be complete and accurate in counting deaths. We missed almost no case. You can look at the excess mortality figures: this curve is almost the same as our count. “

“After the lockdown began on March 18, the numbers started to rise. Everyone now knows what exponential growth means. The fact that it was so quick is also due to the problems in the nursing homes. “

The scientist is worried about the behavior of citizens in the face of the virus: “My greatest fear is the fatigue which is creeping into society. The virus is the same as it was six months ago, people should be aware of it. Today, most infections occur at family gatherings. There is no respect for the rules and people do as they always have. It is only by respecting the measures that we can prevent such a situation as in March from happening again. I understand the criticism. Measures need to be stable – not a slack and tight yo-yo – and take into account social life and the economy. “

But he remains confident about the situation in the nursing homes. “I don’t think we’re going to see other dramatic images like spring. The nursing homes have made an enormous effort. Today there are still two major outbreaks in Wijnegem and Machelen, but the other men have managed to limit the number of cases of contamination. Luck may play a role, but today we also know better how to prevent an epidemic. “

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