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    Coronavirus: Belgium reaches 1,243 confirmed cases

    If they are temporarily incapable of working because of the disease, they will be able to count on 90% of their gross basic wage. Credit: Belga

    185 new people have tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19), confirmed the FPS Public Health during a press conference on Tuesday.

    106 of the newly infected people live in Flanders, 33 live in Wallonia, and 38 in Brussels. The FPS does not have further information on the place of residence of 8 other people. The total number of confirmed cases in Belgium, since the beginning of the pandemic, has reached 1,243.

    “Again, it is important to stress that this number is an underestimation, as not everyone is being tested,” said professor Steven Van Gucht.

    Most infections have been determined in people between 40 and 49 years old, the FPS stated.

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    361 have been hospitalised, which is an increase of 109 in one day. Of those 361 people, 79 are in the intensive care unit, which constitutes 26 new ones since Monday.

    Since the beginning of the pandemic, 10 people in Belgium have died from the consequences of the coronavirus.

    “Everyone can be infected, not only the elderly,” said Van Gucht. “However, the consequences are the worst for the elderly, or for people who have underlying issues,” he added.

    The National Crisis Centre also stressed the importance of respecting and following the measures that have been taken. “Now is not the time to be creative with the rules. This will only work if everyone works together,” the Centre added.

    “We are following the situation very closely, and can implement new measures very shortly if necessary, and if the experts think it necessary,” the Centre said.

    Both the FPS Public Health and the National Crisis Centre ask everyone to only follow and share the official information, which can be found on the website.

    Update: The number of patients confirmed with the coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium is 1,486, as of Wednesday 18 March. Read more about it here.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times