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Coronavirus: Belgium reaches 33,573 confirmed cases

2,454 new people have tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium, confirmed the Federal Public Health Service during a press conference on Wednesday.

1,600 of the newly-infected people live in Flanders, 706 live in Wallonia, and 95 live in Brussels. The FPS does not yet have further information on the place of residence of 53 other people. The total number of cases in Belgium, since the beginning of the pandemic, is 33,573.

“617 of those positive results come from classical tests, like we have been reporting every day so far. The other 1,837 come from tests taken in the residential care centres. In total, about 17% of the tested personnel and residents in those centres have tested positive,” said professor Steven Van Gucht.

250 new patients were admitted to the hospital in the last 24 hours, and 239 new people have also been discharged, bringing the total number of people in the hospital because of the coronavirus at the moment to 5,524, a slight decrease of 12 patients.

“Of the patients in the hospital, 1,204 are in the intensive care unit, which is a decrease of 22 patients,” said Van Gucht.

283 new deaths have been reported, of which 179 occurred in residential care centres. “For the most part, the deaths reported by the care centres are suspected cases, and 2.8% was confirmed by the lab,” said Van Gucht.

Of the newly-reported deaths, 214 occurred in Flanders, 32 in Wallonia, and 37 in Brussels. The total number of deaths in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is currently 4,440. “Of that number, 51% of cases were confirmed infected in the hospitals, and 46% occurred in residential care centres,” added Van Gucht.

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“There has been a great deal of solidarity in the country since the beginning of the crisis. We are pleased to see that it is still strongly present. We also see annoyance in people who comply with the measures, but see others who do not. We want to ask them to persist, regardless of what others do,” said Yves Stevens, a spokesperson for the National Crisis Centre.

“The police forces make an effort to enforce compliance with the measures, but we want to stress that we all have to do respect the measures for ourselves, not for the police,” Stevens said. “We understand that a lot of people are struggling, but let’s not let the behaviour of others be an excuse to let go of the reins ourselves,” he added.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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