People walk along an almost empty shopping street, while Belgian government imposed a coronavirus lockdown in an attempt to slow down the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Brussels, Belgium March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The lockdown of Belgium due to the coronavirus epidemic will continue for at least the next eight weeks, health minister Maggie De Block told the De Zondag paper on Sunday.
From March 17, Belgians are only allowed to leave home to buy food, for health-related errands or to assist someone in need. Schools and universities are closed and employees of most companies have to work from home.
Non-essential travel abroad is prohibited until April 5, all gatherings are banned and police are patrolling the streets to monitor and enforce the restrictions.
Asked how long this would last, De Block said:
“That’s the million dollar question! We are now heading toward the peak of the epidemic, after which the curve will descend. I think this situation will last for at least another eight weeks. It would be the normal curve.”
She said the estimate was based on what happened in China and South Korea, where the epidemic hit earlier.
Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Catherine Evans
- Public health expert warns virus not going away – KSAT San Antonio
- Tesla asks employees to resume production at Fremont car plant despite coronavirus health orders – CNBC
- Major health groups and charities urge Trump to reverse World Health Organization funding decision – CNN
- Public health officials push back on May opening | TheHill – The Hill
- Analysis | The Health 202: Los Angeles is racing to discover the true coronavirus infection rate – The Washington Post
- Some Public Health Officials Not Releasing Coronavirus Hospitalizations : Shots – Health News – NPR
- Covid-19 health-care crisis could drive new developments in robotics, editorial says – The Washington Post
- Lost Your Health Insurance During the COVID-19 Crisis? Here Are Your Options – The Motley Fool
- El Paso virus cases jump to 35 as health leaders warn of increased risk of ‘community spread’ – KVIA El Paso