Jan Jambon: “Containment of coronavirus is the priority”

13 March 2020
corona virus

“We do fully realise that the measures taken are dramatic, but they are necessary. We have followed the measures that the scientists proposed in order to contain the coronavirus. And that’s the way it should be.” To contain the further spread of the coronavirus, the Prime Minister, the competent Ministers and the Minister-Presidents of the federal states have taken measures. Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon clarifies the far-reaching and well-founded measures.

To contain the further spread of the coronavirus, far-reaching measures are necessary. “In view of that goal, scientists have proposed a whole series of measures and we have followed them. And in my opinion that’s the way it should be,” Jan Jambon says.

Lessons cancelled, schools open

Schools have cancelled lessons, but are providing childcare for families with no childcare facilities. Jan Jambon draws attention to the fact that, for example, healthcare workers can’t be forced to stay at home because they have to look after their children. Grandparents mustn’t look after the children either, given that they are the most vulnerable group. Universities and colleges are using distance learning, for example online. Jan Jambon finds the input of the scientists worthwhile and justified: “We have been able to reconcile the concerns of the scientists with those of the parents.”

Economic impact

Several different sectors will feel an impact from the measures. For example, hospitality businesses, including nightclubs, cafés and restaurants will stay closed. Shops will stay open in the week, but have to close at the weekend. Food stores and pharmacies, however, will stay open as usual, also in the weekend. In the coming days, the Flemish Government will work on support for the sectors affected. Here too, containment of the virus is a priority: “If the virus continues to wildly strike wherever it goes and spreads further, the economic damage will be greater, much greater even.”

Continuous monitoring

At the moment, the measures will be in place until the beginning of the Easter holiday. “We are going to continuously examine how the spread of the virus takes place here in our country. If necessary, we will fine-tune the approach,” says Jan Jambon.

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