The figures are falling, but not as quickly as we might have hoped says virus expert

Speaking at Tuesday morning’s public health science institute Sciensano press conference, the virologist Steven Van Gucht said that although the figures relating to the coronavirus pandemic in Belgium are falling, the fall is not as sharp as we might have hoped. “The figures are green, albeit light green, while in this cold early spring, we would rather see dark green”. 

"The confirmed new infections and the number of hospital admissions continue to fall, albeit at the same pace without showing any sign of the fall speeding up. Certainly, as regards hospital admissions we hope to see a speeding up in the pace of the fall in the next few days”.  

The number of confirmed new infections has seen a week on week fall of 20%. However, “far fewer tests are being carried out, 32% less compared with the previous week. This is typical for a holiday period. The percentage of positive tests has risen sharply. At the beginning of March this was 7%. This shows that the virus is still circulating strongly”, Professor Van Gucht said.

Based on current statistics the number of new infections will fall by half in 22 days. “At this rate we could reach 2,000 confirmed new infections by 1 May”, the virologist concluded.

Meanwhile, the fall in the number of hospitalisations remains modest at 5% per week. However, the total number of COVID-19 patients in the country’s hospitals continues to rise. "But it looks like it will peak in the next few days”.

"There are currently 919 COVID-19 patients in intensive care. On Friday 9 April this was 925, currently the highest number yet during this third wave. In the days that follow this figure fell to around 900 without there being any further fall”, Professor Van Gucht said.


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