The Universities of Antwerp, Ghent and Hasselt ask their students not to respond to the relaxation announced by the Security Council yesterday. “Our advice is not to take up the offer of the Security Council to establish such close contacts with each other in this way,” he said.
“The university is a learning environment for vibrant young people between 18 and about 25 years old. We are very concerned about the spread of the Covid-19 virus in your group.” This is how the e-mail to the students sent by rector of the University of Antwerp Herman Van Goethem together with microbiologist Herman Goossens, infectiologist Erika Vlieghe, epidemiologist Pierre Van Damme and the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Guy Hubens.
The mail comes one day after the Security Council, where it was decided, among other things, that from now on everyone may have 5 close contacts per month. Close contact means contact where the safety distance of 1.5 meters does not apply and where mouth masks are not worn. This new rule has met with a lot of criticism from various scientists.
The authors now make a clear appeal to the students of the University of Antwerp: “At the moment, the Security Council has opted for new rules that, as far as students are concerned, come down to this: on the one hand there is your home environment, where of course you do not keep a distance and also no wearing a mouth mask; from now on you may also, for example at the university, form a group of a maximum of five, each time for a month, so with fellow students with whom you can stay without a mouth mask and with less than 1.5m distance. ”
“Our advice is not to accept the Security Council’s offer to establish such close contacts with each other in this way. If you were to do so, really keep those contacts as limited as possible.”