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    Coronavirus: Belgium reaches 7,284 confirmed cases

    Credit: Belga

    1,049 new people have tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19), confirmed the FPS Public Health during a press conference on Friday.

    772 of the newly-infected people live in Flanders, 131 live in Wallonia, and 137 live in Brussels. The FPS does not have further information on the place of residence of 9 other people. The total number of cases in Belgium, since the beginning of the pandemic, is 7,284.

    The total number of people admitted to hospital because of the coronavirus on Thursday is 3,042. “This is an increase of 490 patients in one day,” said professor Steven Van Gucht. Of those patients, 690 are in the intensive care unit. 183 new people have been cured and discharged from the hospital in the last 24 hours.

    69 new deaths have been reported on Thursday, bringing the total number of deaths in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic to 289. “This mainly concerns elderly people,” said Van Gucht.

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    “Recently, the veterinary medicine faculty in Liège reported that a coronavirus infection has been determined in a cat. The cat lived with her owner, who started showing symptoms of the virus a week before the cat did,” said  Van Gucht.

    “We want to stress that this is an isolated case. There are no indications that this is common. Additionally, in this case, we are talking about a human-to-animal transmission, not the other way around. The risk of animal-to-human transmission, is very small,” he added.

    The virus can survive on objects, for several hours or even days, according to the FPS Public Health. “Good hand hygiene is still the most important to stay healthy. We must also clean flat surfaces, surfaces that are touched often by several people, very often,” added Van Gucht.

    “The current measures have a big impact on our lives, even more so during the weekend. We cannot go out and have a drink with our friends, we cannot go to a football game on Saturday and we cannot go visit our grandparents on Sunday,” said Yves Stevens, spokesperson of the National Crisis Centre. “However, once again, this is not the time to start being creative with the rules. Follow them strictly, it is the only way to get ahead of this crisis,” he added.

    “Even if you have strictly followed all the rules in the past two weeks, and you do not feel sick, keep your circle as small as possible,” Stevens said. “We have to persevere now, it is the only way,” he added.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times