BRUSSELS, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes announced at a press conference here on Tuesday new measures to be put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
"The government will put in place new measures to slow down the spread of the virus as much as possible, mainly to avoid the saturation of health services," explained the prime minister.
The announcement followed a meeting of the National Security Council on the same day, which brought together ministers from the federal government and the federated entities to discuss measures to be adopted against COVID-19.
This highly important meeting took place as the country's confirmed cases of COVID-19 reached 267.
The number is increasing daily, which has placed Belgium in phase two of the risk management plan.
However, the new measures avoided a recommendation for schools closure, but discouraged school parties and school trips of several days.
But the prime minister said that this recommendation could change as the virus spreads.
The prime minister called on the population to follow the recommendations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding travel and risk areas.
Meanwhile, Pieter De Crem, Minister of the Interior, Security and Foreign Trade, said gatherings of more than 1,000 people in closed areas are not recommended, but added outdoor gatherings are not contraindicated.