The figures apply to the period between 3 and 9 September. The rise is quite outspoken in the past few days. Yesterday, the rolling average was still 588, while on Friday, it was "only" 547. The latest spike is caused by excessive day figures earlier this week. Monday 7, Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 September had 910, 829 and 868 new corona cases respectively.
The last time we had such high figures, was back in April, but at present a lot more tests are being carried out, about 30,000 per day. About 2.8 percent of these tests are positive. Contrary to the second wave, a rise can be seen in all provinces, and not just in certain cities or regions. This fuels the theory that the present spike is triggered by returning holiday makers and the reopening of the schools.
Van Ranst: "We don't want a situation like in Spain and France"
Marc Van Ranst says "we are probably heading for 1,000 new cases per day in the short term." For the moment, it's mainly young people who are getting the virus, which explains the low number of hospitalisations, but Van Ranst warns that this may change, and that the young generation may infect the older generation. "It also started like this in Spain and in France, where the virus reached older people in the end."
It's a pity that the present corona measures are being criticised, because they are working well
The virologist also warns that if day figures will exceed one thousand, contact tracing teams will no longer be able to cope. "And then you have a problem." However, Karine Moykens, who is responsible for contact tracing in Belgium, sees no immediate problem. She says her teams can cope at present, reaching 9 in 10 people who had close contacts with an infected person, and this after just one day. And there's also the app to come, she underlines.
Van Ranst also repeated that he finds it a pity that the present corona measures are being put in doubt, "because they are working well." He is not calling for stricter measures, but is asking everyone to abide by the present regulations.
Hospital admissions on the rise
Belgium has 67 people testing positive for coronavirus for each 100,000 inhabitants each day now.
Meanwhile, the number of hospital admissions is also on the rise, reaching 27 per day. This represents a rise of more than 50 percent on the week. The number of fatalities remains stable, with 3 patients succumbing each day on average.