Coronavirus: Belgium reaches 23,403 confirmed cases

1,209 new people have tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19), confirmed the Federal Public Health Service during a press conference on Wednesday.

544 of the newly-infected people live in Flanders, 548 live in Wallonia, and 101 live in Brussels. The FPS does not yet have further information on the place of residence of 16 other people. The total number of cases in Belgium, since the beginning of the pandemic, is 23,403.

487 new patients were admitted to the hospital in the last 24 hours, and 524 new people have also been discharged, bringing the total number of people in the hospital because of the coronavirus at the moment to 5,688. “This is a decrease for the first time, with 324 patients,” said professor Steven Van Gucht. “Of the patients in the hospital, 1,276 are in the intensive care unit,” he added.

205 new deaths have been reported, 110 of which occurred in Flanders, 72 in Wallonia, and 23 in Brussels. The total number of deaths in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is currently 2,240.

“We want to stress that we give these figures every day to be as transparent as possible, and to show the reality of the situation the best way we can. However, we understand very well that there are people behind these numbers,” said Van Gucht.

“The peak seems to become more and more clear. For the first time, the number of patients in hospitals has decreased, which is good news. However, the burden is still very heavy, and the number of people in intensive care is still increasing a little,” said Van Gucht. “We are not out of the danger zone yet, but together, we will get this devil back in its lair,” he added.

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“The situation in the residential care centres remains precarious. It is incredibly important to professionally support the care workers there as much as possible. Just like the people working in our hospitals, they have a heroic role,” Van Gucht added. “If you still have masks at home, please give them to the care centres. They can save lives there,” he added.

“Many children and young people are asking questions about what will happen with their exams, or with their summer plans. Unfortunately, we cannot give a precise answer yet,” said Yves Stevens, a spokesperson for the National Crisis Centre.

“It is thanks to our collective efforts and solidarity that we are now seeing a decrease in the number of people in the hospitals. The most important thing we can do now is persevering,” Stevens added. “Stay at home, stay safe, keep it up,” he added.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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