1,000 patients on ICU wards by 10 April “but we can turn the tide" says virologist Steven Van Gucht

At Tuesday morning’s public health science institute Sciensano press conference, the virologist Steven van Gucht expressed concerns about the growing number of COVID-19 patients on the intensive care wards of the country’s hospitals.  

Professor Van Gucht told the press conference that "In particular the strain on ICUs is increasing. At this rate we will have reached the limit of 1,000 patients in intensive care around 10 April”.  

"In other words, we have ten days to turn the tide. This will be possible if we adhere strictly to the basic measures”.

Never before were so many coronavirus tests carried out as during the past week. Of the average of 67,000 test/day that were carried out, 7.7% produced a positive result. Professor Van Gucht says that this level of positivity ratio shows the level of intensity with which the virus is circulating.

On Tuesday 23 March a record 87,052 people were tested for coronavirus in Belgium.

One hopeful sign is that the number of people testing positive for the virus is rising less quickly than had been the case. Professor Van Gucht said that "Hopefully this means that the number of hospital admission will rise less quickly”.


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