Corona: how bad is the situation in Brussels?

The Brussels Region has introduced a set of measures to combat the spread of coronavirus, but how come Brussels is so badly affected?

After the scientists politicians too are now concerned about the rise in cases in the Belgian and Flemish capital.  Last week 2,199 new cases were recorded across the region.  Compare this with the 100 odd per week at the beginning of July and you might start to worry.

But isn’t it simply because more tests are being carried out people wonder.  True, the number of tests in Brussels has more than doubled since July, but the number of tests per 100,000 is now similar to that in other Belgian provinces and comparisons can be drawn.

Worryingly for Brussels far more tests are coming back positive.  In Belgium as a whole one in twenty test results is positive.  In Brussels the figure is one in ten. The epidemic is spreading faster in Brussels and its extent probably partly remains under the radar.

The infection rate in Brussels now stands at 181 cases per 100,000 head of population but it’s especially in working class areas like Sint-Joost, Koekelberg, Ganshoren and Molenbeek that the figures are particularly high.

The second wave also has a head start in Brussels.  The spike recorded in August across Belgium ebbed away in most parts of Belgium, but remained on a plateau in Brussels the experts say.

Compare the evolution of the epidemic in Antwerp and Brussels.

Like elsewhere the epidemic is now affecting older teenagers and people in their twenties and thirties most and these are age categories that make up a large part of the Brussels population.

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