The number of positive corona tests in Belgium is increasing rapidly and will probably continue to increase in the near future, the Belgian National Crisis Team announced on Friday. The largest increase can be seen in Brussels and Wallonia.
Stricter measures from Friday
Last Monday, 4,601 new infections were found in Belgium, a daily record. “That indicates that the numbers will probably continue to rise for some time,” said virologist Steven Van Gucht at a press conference.
Between 29 September and 5 October, an average of 2,916 positive tests were reported every day in Belgium, 72 percent more than the week before. According to Van Gucht, the figures will double every nine days at this rate.
Especially in Brussels and in the Walloon provinces, the number of positive tests is increasing. It is not clear why the figures are rising faster in Wallonia than in Flanders. “In recent weeks, the measures have been criticized in both Flanders and Wallonia, but more explicitly in Wallonia. But whether that explains that people are less adhering to the measures remains difficult to say,” says Van Gucht.
The increase in the number of positive tests occurs in all age groups, but there is a gradual shift from the younger to the older age groups, “with relatively large increases in the over-40s”.
The number of hospital admissions is also increasing. An average of 96 corona patients were admitted each day in the past week; last week there were 69. There are now a total of 1,110 corona patients in Belgian hospitals and 213 in intensive care.
From Friday, stricter corona measures will apply in Belgium. For example, residents of the country are allowed to have ‘close contact’ with a maximum of three people per month, or contact without observing the corona measures. At first this was allowed with five people.
Cafés must also close at 11 p.m. and a maximum of four people are allowed to visit.
Even stricter rules came into effect in Brussels on Friday. For example, cafés and banquet halls have to be closed for a month and there is an alcohol ban in public areas.