Belgium expedites decision on COVID-19 measures to Wednesday

November 15, 2021 GMT

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgium’s government is bringing forward a meeting to decide on tighter measures to control the spread of COVID-19 amid a rapid increase in infections and hospital admissions in the nation.

The meeting, which was originally set for Friday, was moved up to Wednesday so that any measure approved midweek could be operational by the weekend, the government said Monday.

Hospital admissions are shooting up 30% on a weekly basis, and the number of patients in intensive care have risen to more than 500, putting ever more strain on hospitals in the nation of 11 million.

Belgium has just gone through an extended holiday weekend and no precise figures were published Monday.

Authorities reimposed some pandemic restrictions three weeks ago after relaxing them just a few weeks earlier. They also expanded a nationwide use of the COVID-19 pass.

But infections have continued to rise, and the government is expected to look into further areas where facemask wearing should be made mandatory. It is also set to consider turning its advice on working from home into a mandatory order to prevent employees from mingling.