No agreement on epidemic barometer | The time


No green light has yet been given for the introduction of an epidemic barometer. This has to divide our country into color codes, depending on the evolution of the corona pandemic, to which a fixed set of rules always applies. “It’s all too vague.”

The federal government and the regions bowed to a meeting of the Consultation Committee on the planned epidemic barometer on Tuesday evening. This should eventually become the new corona bible, in which the state of the epidemic per province – expressed in a color code – is linked to a fixed set of corona rules. The advisory body Celeval, which is assisting the government in the health crisis, was ordered by politicians last week to revise its proposal for the barometer.

However, the new, revised proposal is still not fully considered ripe to be launched. On Monday there will be a new meeting of the Consultation Committee, where finally the decision has to be taken. Celeval was given a new assignment to come up with a more elaborated proposal. ‘This is far too vague and superficial. It just leaves too many questions unanswered, ‘it says from a political angle.


Most of the work would have happened. According to our information, politicians mainly want to have a few things fine-tuned. For example, the epidemic barometer must be synchronized with a whole series of corona protocols that have already been agreed with sectors such as catering, culture, sports and education. There often also apply color codes to which a corona regime is linked. The fear is that people will get lost in a forest of colors and codes, while the intention is to simplify everything thoroughly. Depending on the color code that applies in their region, every citizen should know which rules to adhere to in everyday life.

The fear is that people will get lost in a forest of colors and codes, while the intention is to simplify everything thoroughly.

De Tijd reported earlier that the parameters that determine the color code will be adjusted. Initially the intention was to work mainly with hospital admissions, but this was criticized because an increase in hospital admissions due to the incubation period is not noticeable until later, so that the virus can already be widely circulated.

Therefore, the number of new positive cases and the positivity ratio (the number of positive tests versus the total number of tests, red.) was also taken to determine the color code, ‘says an insider. The color of a particular province determines how many people – from 1 to 5 – the inhabitants outside their families are allowed to have close contact with. In addition, there was a proposal to set a maximum number of people per square meter for all events – from parties to receptions – depending on how bad the virus is. But Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès (MR) has already made it clear that this is unworkable. Celeval must also find an alternative for this.

The epidemic barometer will almost certainly be one of the first challenges for the new federal government. If everything goes according to plan, that government will be installed this week. The negotiators on the Vivaldi coalition have already decided on one major policy change regarding corona. There will be a permanent corona government commissioner who should become the central hub for ‘all things virus’, from communication to coordination between all services that work around corona.

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