Virologists wrestle with riddle

For the first time since the start of the second wave of the corona crisis all indicators are edging lower.  “The number of infections, hospitalisations and deaths are all lower than last week” says Prof Steven Van Gucht of science health institute Sciensano.

Virologists however face a mystery.  There has been a slowing down in the fall in the number of infections.  “We don’t have an explanation” says the virologist. “This is an important signal that we will be following up on in coming days.”

Over the past week, on average, 4,805 new infections were recorded each day.  The figure is down 39% on the week.  The number of new infections is now halving every ten days.  Until recently the figure halved every 7 or 8 days.  “This process has now slowed down” says Van Gucht.

The slow down is visible in all provinces and in all age categories.  Coming days will show whether this is a temporary phenomenon. Prof Van Gucht notes the slow down isn’t a consequence of the reopening of schools – it’s too early for that – or the result of the modified test strategy that hasn’t yet kicked in.

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