Professor Van Gucht: "Light at the end of the tunnel is shining ever more brightly”

Speaking at Friday morning’s National Crisis Centre press conference, the virologist Steven Van Gucht describe the situation relating to the figures on the coronavirus pandemic is Belgium as “particularly fragile”. “With 1,963 new infections per day we are at a high plateau”.

Professor Van Gucht went on to further describe the evolution of the coronavirus figures. “The fall (in the number of new infections) is currently only apparent in Wallonia and Brussels, with falls of 11% and 29% respectively compared with the previous week. In Flanders we see an increase of 2%. The fall is greatest among over 80s (-20%). However, we see an 11% increase among children under 10”. 

Despite concerns about the British variant, the number of people in care homes testing positive for coronavirus has fallen during the past week. "In Flanders there were 6.5 new infections per 1,000 residents. The week before this was 7.3 per 1,000 residents”. During the past week there were new large outbreaks (at least 10 cases) of coronavirus in 5% of Flemish hospitals. This is unchanged compared with the previous week. In Brussels there were no new outbreaks and in Wallonia there were new outbreaks in 5% of the region’s care homes. 

“Light at the end of the tunnel”

Professor Van Gucht told the press conference that “The light at the end of the tunnel is shining ever more brightly for care homes. 142,000 care home residents have already been given their first dose of the vaccine. This is 11% of all over 80’s”

The virologist added that “During the coming months there will be an exponential increase in the number of vaccines, for the rest of the population too. However, we are now still in a difficult phase of the epidemic. The virus is currently playing a home game, but our best players, the spring and the vaccine, still need to come onto the field. In the end fortune will turn in our favour. So, don’t get downhearted”.

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