David Talukdar

“Peak of Wave 5 in the offing”

Steven Van Gucht, head of viral diseases at Belgian health science institute Sciensano, says the rise in new cases of coronavirus is slowing and the peak of Wave 5 may be in sight.

Even though seven-day averages continue to rise sharply the virologist can make out light at the end of Tunnel 5.

“Growth seems to have fallen back” he told the weekly news conference of the national crisis centre. “This means we will soon reach the peak of Wave 5”.

Average daily cases continue to rise with increases most pronounced among children, teenagers, and their parents.  Infection numbers in this group doubled in only a week.  Teenagers are the largest group and represent 26% of all infections”.

Average deaths too are rising.

“There were slightly more deaths this week than last.  The increase is virtually solely linked to care homes, which means the average age of people dying of Covid is increasing.  The average age has risen from 75 to 79.  The number of care homes battling outbreaks has risen from 9% to 15%”.

Prof Van Gucht says the pressure on health care is still tremendous.  267 Covid patients are in critical acre.  64% of GPs report high to extremely high work pressure.

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