“Critical care will soon be full. We need a Plan B.”

Steven Van Gucht, virologist and head of the Belgian science health institute Sciensano, told a news conference this morning that by 6 November all 2,000 critical care beds in Belgium will be full. He asked the authorities to come up with a Plan B. 

The number of people being hospitalised is rising at the fastest rate in Flanders at the minute with a doubling every six days.  In Brussels and Wallonia patient numbers are doubling every nine days.

The number of critical care patients is doubling every 8 days.  Prof Van Gucht says this rate seems to be increasing.

“If the present trend continues, we will have a thousand patients in critical care within two days.  At this rate their number will reach 2,000 on Friday 6 November.  That is our maximum capacity.”

The head of Sciensano then requested the drafting of a plan B.

Prof Van Gucht noted that people of working age, in the thirties and forties, are now being hit equally hard as teenagers and people in their twenties.

“People in their thirties and forties are now coming down with coronavirus in the same numbers as people in heir twenties.  Half of all infections are today reported among the over 40’s.  Infection risk is also rising among people in their 70’s”.

“Among people in their 90’s infection numbers are doubling every 7 days.  During the past fortnight 2% of over 90’s case down with coronavirus. This shows how the situation in care homes is deteriorating.”

Coronavirus is hitting all Belgian provinces in equal measure.  Only the timing is different.

“We first saw an important rise in Wallonia.  Now we see the fastest increases in cases in Flanders.  In East Flanders figures are doubling every week.  In West Flanders and Limburg, it’s every ten days.”

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