Belgian first: new infections down on the day

13 people have died of COVID-19 in Belgium during the past 24 hours.  There have also been 342 new confirmed cases of the disease.

For the first time the number of new cases is significantly lower than the previous day.  It still remains to be seen whether the figures will continue to fall.  Belgium’s crisis centre says that above all now it is important to stick to the measures implemented.

The new deaths take the total for Belgium to 88.  Most of the deceased are aged 65 or older.

Belgium now has 3,743 confirmed cases.  173 of the new confirmed cases were in Flanders, 118 in Wallonia and 45 in Brussels.  The location of six other cases has not been made public.

It’s the first time since 15 March that the daily increase in infections is lower than the previous day.  The past two days new infections were over 500 in number.  The crisis centre warns that real infection numbers are higher because not everybody can be tested.

In all 1,643 people are in a Belgian hospital. 322 patients are now in intensive acre – up 32 on the day.  239 patients are on ventilators – up 39 on the day.  In all Belgium currently has 2,650 intensive care beds.

350 people have left hospital since 15 March including 61 in the past 24 hours.

“For the first time we see things moving in the right direction, but we don’t have enough figures to speak of a trend” says the Belgian health ministry.  “Consequently, we shouldn’t relax measures.  We have the virus by the scruff of the neck and now it’s important we don’t let go.”

We also have graphs with the distribution of cases and deaths per age category.

This graph shows the number of hospitalisations with patients in intensive care in dark green.

While our last graph for today shows the number of cases per age category.  Men are in dark green.

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