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Belgium ready for the containment economy

The idea of ​​preventive containment is gaining ground in Belgium too. This strategy is supposed to better protect public health for the benefit of the economy.

Max HELLEFF

The idea of ​​preventive containment is gaining ground in Belgium too. This strategy is supposed to better protect public health for the benefit of the economy.

From our correspondent, Max Helleff (Brussels) Does corporate work contribute to the spread of the virus? More than one politician is convinced of this. The summit meetings which led to the launch of the latest anticovid measures saw Walloon Elio Di Rupo and Flemish Frank Vandenbrouke insist that teleworking is the rule today and that everything must be implemented where it is. impossible for the sanitary conditions offered to workers to be optimal. They insist, because the message is not always understood …

In Brussels, densely populated office towers are now said to be almost empty. The big employers of the city have set up the necessary means for teleworking. However, according to figures released to the press by the Communist PTB, breaches of the rules were noted in some 3,223 workplaces between March 18 and the end of August. But only 84 faulty companies had to close their doors, writes ‘L’Echo’.

For Communist deputy Nadia Moscufo, “these warnings are not enough. They stand in stark contrast to the heavy fines imposed on citizens who do not follow the rules related to the coronavirus, while businesses are an important crossroads where people spend hours together and can be infected. We need to increase the number of inspections. “

It is no secret that some employers are reluctant to telework. Pieter Timmermans, the head of the Belgian Business Federation, says loud and clear that a re-containment would be a “tragedy”. Sure Twitter, virologist Emmanuel André believes, on the contrary, that “the countries which have been able to control the circulation of the virus are those which have so far suffered the least from an economic point of view. Ambitioning to reduce the circulation of the virus as much as possible is to ensure the survival of our economy. And save lives ”. In other words, if the bosses want to escape bankruptcy, they would do well to accept the re-containment.

Such reflection is fueling another debate on the advisability of turning school vacations into a brake on the virus. Belgian economist Eric Dor thus believes that there are “good health reasons for extending the All Saints’ holidays” but that there are also good economic reasons: “It is necessary to quickly stem the deterioration of the health situation, otherwise it would be December for all Belgians which could be suspended.”

This opposite implies that the bosses admit the presence of children at home, a provision requiring parents to work from home … At the end of September, the 2019 Nobel Prize winners Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo had recommended confinement of the entire French territory of the December 1 to 20, to save Christmas.

Preventive containment is making its way. As written The evening, in the absence of a vaccine, we will have to deal with the virus and develop an alternative strategy. “It is impossible to live through the months leading up to summer 2021 or 2022 by practicing stop and go current: the contaminations curve is flattened, we open the bars and we go back to school, the curve goes up, we close the economy and we forget about school. It would be psychologically, socially and economically suicidal. “On the other hand,” today we need the scientific and managerial work of a B team that thinks in the medium term “. Opting for a preventive containment strategy could be one of the solutions put forward …


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