At the initiative of the cabinet of the Minister of Health Maggie De Block, the federal government has drawn up a strategic plan to deal with a second wave of corona infections in Belgium and to prevent errors from the first wave. The French-speaking public broadcaster RTBF, which was able to obtain the document, reports this on Thursday.
The 83-page document outlines the government’s long-term ambitions, such as the purchase policy and the distribution of a future coronavirus vaccine, which is not yet available. The authorities are also elaborating on how they will tackle the seasonal flu.
The strategy has been finalized with experts from, among others, the health institute Sciensano, the FPS Public Health, the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP) and the NIHDI, and is based on two pillars: the daily management of the new infections and the anticipation of a new wave of infections.
Targeted measures are listed and will be automatically applied when a certain threshold is reached, such as a local, regional or national lockdown. The plan also focuses on issues such as financing and decisions on equipment, the number of hospital beds and available ventilators, the strengthening of mobile hospital teams and access to psychological care.
The budgetary impact of the plan is estimated at just over EUR 35 million this year, EUR 45.5 million in 2021 and approximately EUR 42.7 million on a structural basis.
Some elements of the plan are already in effect. The intention is also to simplify the current approach.