Once again big differences in Covid data between Flanders and Wallonia

Though the average daily number of new cases of coronavirus has fluctuated in the 2,000 to 2,500 range for several weeks biostatistician Bart Mesuere of Ghent University notes large regional differences that not always surface clearly in the headline figures.

“In Flanders the number of new cases is falling in Antwerp Province and in East Flanders.  Elsewhere we see minute increases except in Flemish Brabant where the average shot up 18%.  However, in Wallonia there are big rises of between 15% and 43% across all provinces. In Wallonia the rise affects all age groups.  In Flanders it’s especially in the 0-9 age group that more cases are being diagnosed”.

The scientist has no immediate explanation for the difference: “In the past we have noticed different figures for Flanders and Wallonia.  It could be coincidence.  In Flanders an outbreak is followed by mass testing.  This means more people are tested but they may not necessarily be positive.  I have no knowledge of any change to the test strategy in Wallonia.”

If hospitalisation figures stagnate or rise, it’s also important to consider the regional differences in new case numbers.

“In Flanders we see a rise in cases among children, but they are less likely to become seriously ill.  In Wallonia the rise is across all age groups and that could lead to higher hospitalisations.  It’s important to watch that”. 

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