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399 corona patients discharged from hospital, "epidemic is receding"

The national crisis centre has realeased the daily corona statistics. 313 extra deaths have been reported, while the number of patients that had to be taken to hospital follows the downward trend of the past days. And there's more good news: the virus reproduction rate has dropped below one. Still, experts are asking the public to follow the corona guidelines.

  • The number of deaths in the past 24 hours was at 313, compared to 417 yesterday. This brings the total to 5,163 deaths, but note that Belgium is including not only hospital deaths: our statistics also take into account deaths at care homes, which have not been officially confirmed as corona deaths in many cases. Recently, corona testing in nursing homes revealed that 50 percent of residents who were showing corona symptoms, were in fact not infected with the lung virus. 
  • In total, only 44 percent of the more than 5,000 people who succumbed, passed away in hospital. The confirmed corona deaths in care homes only make up 8 percent there, while the vast majority are unconfirmed
  • 320 patients had to be taken to hospital, but at the same time 399 were discharged. The number of 320 follows the downward trend; the total number of patients is now at 5,161. The total number of people in intensive care is 42 down on the day, to reach a total of 1,140. However, this being said, the situation in care homes remains very difficult, experts underline. 

The virus reproduction number has dropped below one

At the same time, it turns out that the epidemic is shrinking. While one person contaminated two or three others with the novel corona virus at the beginning, this figure has now dropped below one. "The virus reproduction number (the R0 value in technical language) has dropped below one, 0.8 to be precise, which means that the epidemic is losing momentum", virologist Steven Van Gucht told a press conference.

In Germany, we are seeing the same figure: 0.7 at present, coming from three early March. Van Gucht remains cautious, but thinks that we may have the worst now. 

While the figures are improving, virologists warn that this is not the moment to loosen our grip on the virus. They underline we have to continue the effort in order not to to lose the bonus we have built for ourselves.