Professor Van Gucht: “A fall in patient numbers for the first time since September”

Speaking at Friday morning’s press conference given by the public health science institute Sciensano the virologist Professor Steven Van Gucht was able to give some encouraging news. “There is a slight fall in the number of infections and there are initial indications that the number of people being hospitalised is also falling. The number of patients in intensive care continues to rise, but the rate of increase is slowing”. 

Professor Van Gucht added that "This is the first time since September that the number of people in our hospitals has fallen”.

This would appear to indicate that we have reached the peak of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in Belgium.

"The efforts are starting to work. But the way down is still long and we are going to have to stick to this regime for a long time before we enter safer waters”, the virologist added.

The peak in infections during the second wave so far came on 27 October when more than 22,000 people tested positive.

The rate of increase in the number of people dying from the virus is slowing slightly but is still doubling every week. "This is very rapid, but it is less rapid than it was a week ago”, Professor an Gucht explained.

Finally, Steven Van Gucht issued a called "We hear from GPs and the hospitals that it is very quiet. At A&E departments it is more like a calm summer’s day rather than a typical autumn day. Apparently people believe that there is no space left for them, but this is not true. It you have ailments or concerns go to your GP or to hospital. There is room and it is safe”. 

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