Danny Gys / Reporters

Professor Van Gucht: "This week there will be days with more than 10,000 infections”

Speaking at Monday morning’s Sciensano press conference the virologist Steven Van Gucht said that the figures relating to the coronavirus pandemic in Belgium “are rising disturbingly”. During the week between 2 and 8 October there were an average of 4,154 people testing positive for the novel coronavirus each day. “Last Wednesday 7 October we counted 6,505 confirmed infections. At this rate there will be days this week that we have more than 10,000 infections”.  

The rise in the number of infections is apparent in all parts of the country and among all age demographics.

"Those in their twenties are still the largest group but we are increasingly seeing a shift towards older people”, Professor Van Gucht said. "Among 30 to 70-year-olds the number of cases has doubled. Among the over 90’s too we are seeing a sharp increase. During the past week there were 260 infections among this group”.

The number of coronavirus patients that are being hospitalised is also increasing by the day. "We are seeing a doubling in the number of hospital admissions every 10 days”, Professor Van Gucht said. There are currently 1,329 COVID patients in Belgian hospitals, of whom 243 are on intensive care wards.

"There is a doubling in the number of patients in intensive care every 18 days. At this rate there will be 500 patients in intensive care by the end of this month and some time in November this could be 1,000. Then we wouldn’t be far off the peak during the first wave”.

There is currently a maximum of 2,000 intensive care beds in Belgian hospitals that are set aside for COVID-19 patients.

Professor Van Gucht concluded by saying "We are all responsible for slowing down the spread of the virus. The authorities have taken measures and they can take more if needs be. But we can make an impact ourselves. Limit your close contacts. Models show that this has the greatest impact. This can make the difference between a high peak or a flattened curve.”


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