"The past month of April was the deadliest for Belgium since the Second World War", the Brussels University (VUB) research group 'Interface Demography' concludes. They add: "Mortality in Belgium was particularly high, reaching a peak between 1 and 12 April, with 639 deaths on 10 April. This is more than double the number you can expect on a day like that."
So far, Belgium has reported 8,959 corona deaths (compared to a population of 11 million). However, many were not officially confirmed as corona deaths, especially in nursing homes. Some claimed Belgium may have overestimated its figures - thus spoiling its image abroad - but statisticians now say the figues are correct, if they take into account normal mortality figures. However, they are still comparable to other countries.
Professor Patrick Deboosere of the VUB told the VRT that "corona mortality figures for Belgium have been pretty accurate." Belgium is not doing too well on an international scale, but Deboosere warns. While the death toll is high in Belgium, other countries may have been underestimating the death toll in their daily reports. "Many countries will probably have to adjust their figures in the future."
Diksmuide and Huy, (relatively) safe places in corona times
Among the hardest hit regions in Belgium are Mons and Brussels. Next follow Sint-Truiden and Alken in Limburg province. These three areas had double the average mortality rate for Belgium. The Liège region had 80 percent more deaths.
On the other hand, some areas were less impacted, like Diksmuide (West Flanders) and Huy (Wallonia). The number of young people (25 tot 44) that died, dropped, probably because they went out less often. "But this doesn't mean that they weren't hit by the virus."