More hospitalisations, fewer patients in critical care

Belgium’s national crisis centre has released the latest figures with regard to coronavirus.  170 people died as a result of COVID-19 on Tuesday: 69 deaths were recorded in hospital, 98 in care centres.  Most of the deaths in care centres were now confirmed as corona positive.

174 people were hospitalised yesterday – an increase on the two previous days.  340 left hospital.

4050 patients are being treated for COVID-19 in hospital.  The figure is up 74 on the day.  534 people are on a ventilator – 32 fewer than Tuesday.

Belgium’s death toll of confirmed and suspected corona deaths stands at 7,501.  53% of deaths were recorded in care homes, 46% in hospital.  Hospital cases are all confirmed as COVID-19.  Care home deaths are a mixture.

525 new infections were recorded including 149 in care homes.  The number of registered infections stands at 47,859.

Virologist Steven Van Gucht has said that it is unlikely that coronavirus can spread via air conditioning: “Most of the infections are the result of relatively close contact, via droplets that are emitted over short distances or via the hand.  The transmission of the virus through the air over long distances and via air conditioning is unlikely.  We believe that this isn’t an important form of transmission.”

Steven Van Gucht also told the media briefing that the R value had now fallen to 0.79.  This means that one infected person is transmitting coronavirus to less than one other and that the epidemic is easing.

“The 0.79 R value applies to the period between 20 and 26 April.  The value is calculated over a period of several days” he explained.

6,525 corona tests were carried out on Tuesday.  In all 226,000 tests have been performed.  Prof Van Gucht announced that greater numbers of test results will be released in coming days as the results of the national laboratory network arrive.