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Coronavirus 4833754 1920

The Belgian response to the Covid-19 pandemic has drawn praise from Financial Times’ Brussels reporter Jim Brunsden

He applauded how the country’s politicians have united at a time when Belgium is operating under a recently-formed minority government, staying that it was “impressive that the country acted decisively.”

He commended Prime Minister Wilmès for her “calm and serious approach”. Brunsden also considered Belgium’s daily communication strategy on COVID-19 a success, with updates presented by scientific experts and spokespeople from the government’s crisis centre rather than politicians.

Under new restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of Coronavirus, bars and restaurants have been closed since March 14, with confinement in households brought in four days later.

Belgium could not have been in worse shape politically, operating under a caretaker government for fifteen months until March 17, with the King swearing in a minority government in order to be able to deal with the pandemic effectively. Nevertheless, the country has shown it can still produce “a clear, decisive response to a national crisis,” Brunsden said.