2020 Getty Images

COVID-19 latest: death toll inches higher

A further 123 coronavirus-related deaths were recovered in Belgium over the past 24 hours. 4,995 people are in hospital with COVID-19, a figure that is up 560 on the day.

In all 1,088 patients are now in intensive care.  67 new patients were taken to intensive care wards over the past day.  834 patients are on a ventilator. This figure is up 48. 54% of Belgium’s intensive care beds are now occupied.

In all 1,189 new infections were diagnosed. 13,964 cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in Belgium since the start of the outbreak, but because testing is limited the real infection rate is believed to be higher.

828 people have now died in Belgium as a result of COVID-19.  Over 93% of deaths were among the over 65’s.

Belgium has 2,220 critical care beds available to treat COVID-19 patients.  54% are now occupied.

“We still have ample capacity and that can still be increased if need be” says Prof Steven Van Gucht of the crisis centre.

“It’s possible that we are moving towards maximum capacity, but we believe that we will be able to manage a situation like that, certainly now that we today see a slowing of the epidemic. But this will require great efforts of our hospitals.  That is clear”.

436 patients left hospital in the past 24 hours - a new record.  Since 15 May 2,132 patients have been discharged.

Steven Van Gucht also warned against false claims on social media.  There’s a claim that after you have stayed at home for two weeks you are safe and can visit friends and family once again.  The virologist says this claim is false and such visits should never happen.

The Belgian crisis centre is asking people who are ill not to delay calling their doctor, even if they have non-COVID-related complaints.

“Your GP can advise you and possibly also subject you to an examination.  Our family doctors and hospitals are organised in such a way that everybody can be examined in a safe environment” says Prof Steven Van Gucht, who adds that the chronically ill too should stay in touch with their doctors.

Top stories