Virologist Marc Van Ranst told Belgian Radio 1: “With the latest figures and the recent increase in confirmed cases, you can clearly see that we are at the start of a second wave. ”
However, Yves van Laethem, spokesperson for the Belgian Ministry of Health, told the Belgian television channel RTBF that the prospect of a second wave seems for the moment to be localized in certain provinces. Addressing the Le Soir newspaper, virologist Marius Gilbert echoed this, adding that transmission rates remain relatively low.
The reproduction rate of Covid-19 infections, which indicates the average number of infections caused by each person infected with the virus, has increased in Belgium to more than 1 for the first time since the peak of the pandemic on April 4.
Health Minister Maggie de Block said on Friday that “the numbers are clearly not good” and called on Belgians to respect the rules of social distancing.
Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes postponed further relaxation of the rules on social gatherings after the spike in infections this week, and said she could not rule out the reintroduction of blockages in the hardest hit areas.
The government will meet on July 23 to discuss its upward response in the new cases.
Swiss officials have opened investigations into importers and resellers of defective respirators, they said on Friday, warning users of protective devices to be alert for defective products rushed into the country during the Covid pandemic. 19.
The Swiss Federal Office of Accident Prevention (BFA) and the Swiss National Accident Insurance Fund (SUVA) stated that 60% of the protective masks examined offered insufficient protection.
The agency’s call is not for the soft, hygienic masks that people usually wear in public or on trains and buses, but more robust respirators to help protect medical workers from the deadly disease.
Most of the masks were labeled KN95, the agencies said, a label that could indicate approval in China.
In April, the Swiss government relaxed import restrictions on protective equipment so that its health care system was fed up in the midst of a global rush.
“SUVA and BFU have noticed … that many defective products are in circulation,” the agencies said. The products, mainly purchased online, have been tested in a SUVA laboratory.
After examining around 60 types of masks, the agencies determined that “more than 60% of the models do not offer sufficient protection”.
Persons using protective masks must ensure that they carry the so-called CE marking, reflecting compliance with European standards, followed by a four-digit number which may be indicative of their quality. The packaging and conformity declarations of these masks must correspond to the contact details of the manufacturer and his address.
“We recommend that the masks be purchased from specialized medical stores or from recognized dealers,” the agencies said, adding that the specific results of their examination of the masks were not yet public due to their ongoing investigation.