National Crisis Centre express concern about the rise in the number of coronavirus infections in Brussels

During Wednesday morning’s National Crisis Centre press conference the virologist Steven Van Gucht described the rise in the number of coronavirus infections in the Brussels-Capital Region as “giving cause for concern”. Professor Van Gucht added that “If the increase in the Brussels Region continues at this rate for another two weeks we will have reached the level there that we are at in Antwerp”. 

From today the wearing of face masks is mandatory on the streets, in parks and at all other publically-accessible places in the whole of the Brussels-Capital Region as the number of new infections has exceeded 50 per 100,000 population. In Antwerp Province extra measures to try and curb the number of new infections were taken two weeks ago, although one of these measures, the curfew, has been suspended for the duration of the heatwave.

Professor Van Gucht says that the exponential growth in the number of new infections appears to have been stopped in Antwerp Province. The number of new infections is falling too in Luxembourg and Limburg provinces. Meanwhile, the number of new infections in East Flanders and Liège Province is rising by 400 cases per week.

Professor Van Gucht went on to give more information about the 48 hospital admission that took place on Tuesday. Of these 11 were in Antwerp and 12 in Brussels.  “The virus is still dangerous, although we don’t have the serious situation that we did in March or April”.

The virologist explained why the Crisis Centre has been paying most attention to the number of new infections rather than the number of hospital admissions in recent weeks.

“The infection figures are better at giving early indication of how the situation is evolving. Nevertheless, hospital admissions are the most important indicator. They tell us where we are at today. The evolution in the number of infections tells us where we could be at within a month. The figures now are an important wake-up call”. 

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