Paediatric COVID-19
Task force

In March 2020, when the first cases of COVID-19 were observed in Belgium and alarming information was coming in from Italy and China, some paediatric infectious disease specialists and presidents of paediatric associations decided to meet virtually every week to get an overview of the challenges of this new epidemic and to provide a coordinated response across Belgium. These weekly ZOOM meetings made it possible for Belgian paediatrics to speak with one voice almost throughout this epidemic with clear messages to the authorities and the population.


The main objective of this Task Force was to bring together everyone concerned with children to defend in a coordinated way the interests of children: their right to education, to play, to health both physical and mental, to protection.

There was always internal consultation before advice was given to policy makers, or before the press was consulted. The aim was to work as much as possible on the basis of evidence and scientific studies. Newsletters were published regularly.


Coordinated by Tyl Jonckheer

The weekly meetings were attended over time by some 40 different people representing the following associations or institutions:

  • Heads of Department of Paediatrics of the different Belgian Universities
  • Paediatric infectiologists of all Belgian Universities and from Montreal
  • Presidents or representatives of various paediatric associations ( BMS/SBP, VVK, GBPF, VBS/GBS, EAP)
  • Child psychiatrists
  • Child psychologists
  • Paediatric nurses
  • Child and Family, Growing up
  • ONE
  • CLB
  • PSE
  • Sciensano
  • GEMS
  • Cabinet of the Flemish Minister of Education
  • Representatives of Walloon and Flemish General Practitioners ( Domus Medica)
  • Flemish Scientific Association for Youth Health Care
  • Biostatisticians
  • When necessary, national COVID-19 experts