647 new people have tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium, confirmed the Federal Public Health Service during a press conference on Tuesday.
This brings the total number of cases in Belgium, since the beginning of the pandemic, to 47,334. The total reflects all people in Belgium who have been infected, and includes confirmed active cases as well as patients who have since recovered, or died from the consequences of the virus.
215 of the newly-infected people live in Flanders, 306 live in Wallonia, and 117 live in Brussels. The FPS does not yet have further information on the place of residence of 9 other people.
“316 of those positive results come from the classical testing network. 331 come from tests taken in the residential care centres, which are still ongoing,” said Professor Steven Van Gucht of the coronavirus crisis centre. In total, 220,204 coronavirus tests have been taken in Belgium, of which 6,162 in the past 24 hours.
123 new patients were admitted to hospital in the last 24 hours, and 65 people have been discharged, bringing the total number of people in hospital because of the coronavirus at the moment to 3,976, a slight increase of 8 patients.
“Of the patients in hospital, 876 are in the intensive care unit, which is a decrease of 27 patients,” said Van Gucht, adding that of those patients, 566 are currently on a respirator, a decrease of 34.
134 new deaths have been reported, of which 76 occurred in hospitals, and were confirmed cases. 64 of the deaths were reported by the residential care centres, of which 80% were confirmed cases.
Of the newly-reported deaths, 78 occurred in Flanders, 40 in Wallonia, and 16 in Brussels. The total number of deaths in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is currently 7,331. “Of that number, 46% occurred in hospitals and 53% in residential care centres,” said Van Gucht.
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"We are still seeing a positive evolution in the figures. If they keep decreasing, it will be possible to relax certain measures," said Van Gucht. "We think that the risk can be limited and controlled, on the condition that we keep shielding the most vulnerable in society, such as the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions, against the virus. If we can keep protecting those people, it will be possible to relax several measures, but still keep controlling the virus," he added.
"We are seeing a decreasing trend, this is important in order to be able to switch to the relaxing of the measures from next week," said Yves Stevens, a spokesperson for the National Crisis Centre. "Our behaviour determines the curve, both in the positive and the negative sense," he added
"Wearing a face mask will provide additional protection against the virus, in addition to all other measures. This way, you can protect yourself, and others," Stevens said. "It is important that we continue to respect all measures, together we can do this," he added.
Update: The number of patients confirmed with the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium is 47,859, as of Wednesday 29 April. Read more about it here.
The Brussels Times