Big increase in the number of teenagers becoming infected with coronavirus

At Monday morning’s press conference on the coronavirus pandemic in Belgium, Boudewijn Catry of the public health science institute Sciensano gave some further explanation about the evolution of the figures released over the past few days. 

Mr Catry told the press conference that a growing number of teenagers are testing positive for the virus. “The number of infections among teenagers is currently the same as it is among those in their 20’s. However, in recent days the most cases in absolute figures have been among teenagers. In addition to this the over 60’s are showing a relatively large increase compared with the national average which means that in time we can expect more serious cases”.

The increase in the number of positive tests is apparent across the whole country. However there are quite significant differences in the percentage of the increase between the various provinces. In Limburg the number of new cases increase by 18%, while the increase was 103% in Namur Province.

The largest number of new infections was in the Brussels-Capital Region. Antwerp Province comes in a close second.

During the past week an average of 35,000 tests per day were carried out. Last Wednesday 45,000 people were tested for the novel coronavirus.

The percentage of those testing positive averages 3.7% for the country as whole, but varies between 1.7% in Limburg Province and 7.6% in the Brussels-Capital Region.

On Saturday more than 50 (51) COVID-19 patients were admitted to hospital. This was the first day since 21 May on which more than 50 people with COVID-19 were admitted to hospital in Belgium.

Boudewijn Catry says that the rise in the number of new cases and hospitalisations should not be a cause for panic. He added that if we observe the basic rules of hygiene and distancing we can keep the virus under control.

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