Pedro Facon, director general for health at Belgium’s Federal Public Service Health (FPSH), was nominated Tuesday to become the country’s first coronavirus commissioner.
A panel consisting of representatives of the Belgian regions and the federal government tapped Facon as the point person to help coordinate the fight against the coronavirus, De Morgen reported. The news follows the announcement last week that the country also has a new health minister, Frank Vandenbroucke.
The new national government under Prime Minister Alexander De Croo decided to come up with the novel position to streamline its coronavirus policy. Like many other countries in Europe, Belgium has been struggling with a rising rate of reported infections, and in the spring had one of the highest COVID-19 mortality rates in Europe.
Facon, who has a degree in public policy from KU Leuven, has served in his post at the FPSH for more than three years, including during the early days of the pandemic.
Belgian virologist Marc van Ranst was among those endorsing Facon for the role, tweeting that he would be the ideal candidate to deal with Belgium’s “federated entities.”
“He knows his way around government, cabinets and administration,” van Ranst wrote. “During this crisis he organized the hospital sector very well. Every success, Pedro!”