Coronavirus: Belgium reaches 24,983 confirmed cases

1,580 new people have tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19), confirmed the Federal Public Health Service during a press conference on Thursday.

1,049 of the newly-infected people live in Flanders, 370 live in Wallonia, and 149 live in Brussels. The FPS does not yet have further information on the place of residence of 12 other people. The total number of cases in Belgium, since the beginning of the pandemic, is 24,983.

459 new patients were admitted to the hospital in the last 24 hours, and 483 new people have also been discharged, bringing the total number of people in the hospital because of the coronavirus at the moment to 5,590. “This is a further decrease, with 98 patients,” said professor Steven Van Gucht. “Of the patients in the hospital, 1,285 are in the intensive care unit,” he added.

283 new deaths have been reported, of which 116 were confirmed in the hospital. 135 of the deaths occurred in Flanders, 109 in Wallonia, and 39 in Brussels. The total number of deaths in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is currently 2,523.

“1,569 tests have already been taken in residential care homes. The idea is that we will reach 20,000 tests in a few days,” he added.

“We have heard of people who put mouth masks or other items in the freezer, with the intention to kill the virus. However, the virus preserves very well in cold and even freezing temperatures,” Van Gucht said. “This is not a good strategy,” he added.

“Many online and offline initiatives and creatives projects have been launched, for example, to make protective equipment, and we cannot thank everyone working on these initiatives enough,” said Yves Stevens, a spokesperson for the National Crisis Centre.

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“We also want to thank the people working in essential services, who keep our society running. We cannot applaud enough at 8:00 PM every day, we cannot show enough support for everyone, specifically those in the care sector,” he added.

“Today, a campaign from the Belgian governments is starting, focussing on the aspect that we need to keep it up,” Stevens said. “If we want to enjoy the summer later, we will have to persevere now. The message is very simple: keep up the solidarity, stay at home, and keep it up,” he added.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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