Coronavirus: 299 new infections, ICU cases falling by 5% a day

299 additional people have tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium in the last 24 hours, confirmed the federal public health ministry on Saturday.

This brings the total number of cases in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic to 56,810. The total reflects all people in Belgium who have been infected, and includes confirmed active cases as well as patients who have since recovered, or died from the consequences of the virus.

213 of the newly-infected people live in Flanders, 66 live in Wallonia, and 20 live in Brussels. Of all the confirmed cases so far, 56% came from Flanders, 32% from Wallonia and 10% from Brussels, while no residence details could be determined for 2% of cases.

Of all confirmed cases of Covid-19, Antwerp province has the highest number at 7,759, while the lowest number was in Luxembourg province with 1,371.

34 new patients were admitted to hospital in the last 24 hours, and 32 were discharged.

The total number of people in hospital because of the coronavirus at the moment is 1,388.

Of the patients in hospital, 259 are in the intensive care unit (ICU), nine fewer than yesterday. As the government health institute Sciensano pointed out, the numbers of ICU cases have been falling by roughly 5% a day for several days now.

25 new deaths have been reported, bringing the total number of people who died because of the coronavirus to 9,237 – 50% from Flanders, 35% from Wallonia and 15% from Brussels.

Of the new fatalities, 15 (60%) took place in hospital and 10 (40%) in care homes. Of the total number of deaths, 48% took place in hospital, 51% in a care home and only 0.7% elsewhere, including the patient’s own home.

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When it comes to testing, the number of positive tests for Belgium is 4% of all tests carried out. Tests on people with symptoms are positive in one in four cases, but only 3% of tests on asymptomatic subjects turn out to be positive. The percentages for the three regions do not differ greatly from the national figure.

On the international level, Europe still has the most confirmed cases of infection, with a total of 1,755,432 since the first case emerged in January. That is just ahead of North America on 1,752,290. Europe also has had the most fatalities, with 166,180, compared to 108,472 in North America in second place.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

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