Academics from all sides, united under the Rational Covid collective, are calling for the development of an “other” approach to the management of the health crisis, which is multidisciplinary and rational. So far “it is too often fear that seems to guide political decisions,” the think tank noted on Wednesday.
“Since containment was put in place a year ago, this crisis is no longer only health but also social, economic, psychological”, advance the collective. However, “we can only regret to see that we are limited to medical and virological expertise in the management of this multifaceted crisis,” he continues:
A hospitalier register
Wishing to open the public and scientific debate, the academics plead for the development of a precise hospital cadastre. “About a third of the standard capacity of our intensive care beds is occupied by Covid-positive patients. How many of them actually suffer from complications related to Covid? (…) What is the profile of these patients (length of hospitalization, duration in intensive care, pathologies, age, locality, social determinants)? We don’t know, ”laments Raphaël Jungers, an engineer in applied mathematics (UCLouvain).
For him, the State must collect and share the data of the crisis. “Even the data that Sciensano has are not all accessible to the entire scientific community,” he continues.
On the other hand, the measures taken must be the subject of a post-hoc evaluation, according to the professor: “The way in which curves are agitated in front of the general public, without any explanation or questioning, is misleading for the ‘public opinion, which consequently no longer knows which way to turn ”.
For example, the announcements of the Consultative Committee (Codeco) last week are questioned by members of the think tank. “The communication that surrounded this new round of measures leaves us perplexed. The extremely incomplete and probably biased presentation of the contamination figures in schools was misleading for the general public. What is more, the figures for this week confirm that the epidemic is naturally beginning to ebb, ”they point out.
Strengthening health care
Finally, the collective calls for a strengthening of health care, the crisis of which has shown “the weaknesses and the limits”. “Why not strengthen this system, starting by increasing the hospital’s response capacity to adapt it to seasonal needs, upgrade the nursing professions and strengthen the role of the first line ?, he wonders. “It would very likely be more efficient than shutting down an entire economy, depriving children of school and deepening social inequalities.”
The rational Covid think tank brings together doctors, engineers, mathematicians, virologists and professors in the humanities. It says it is open to new members, but also to collaboration with any researcher or initiative interested in managing this crisis.
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