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    Coronavirus: Belgium reaches 30,589 confirmed cases

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    In the last 24 hours, 942 new cases of infection by the coronavirus (Covid-19) have been confirmed in Belgium, according to the government crisis centre’s daily report.

    The new cases bring to 30,589 the total of confirmed cases in Belgium. The latest increase is smaller than previous days, most likely as a result of reporting during the Easter weekend. However it brings the total over the psychological boundary of 30,000 cases.

    The new numbers were divided among the three regions: 591 in Flanders, 235 in Wallonia and 113 in Brussels. No information was available as to the origin of three of the new cases.

    Of the newly confirmed cases, 310 were hospitalised, bringing the total to 5,353, of whom 1,234 are in intensive care, an increase of two in the last 24 hours. At the same time, 239 patients were discharged from hospital, bringing the total to 6,707.

    The last 24 hours saw 303 new fatalities, bringing the total to 3,903 since the outbreak began. Of the total number of fatalities, 53% (105) died in hospital, 43% (195) in a care home, none at home and 3% in another location.

    The deaths in hospital are all confirmed cases, while the deaths in care homes include confirmed cases of coronavirus and presumed cases together.

    The fatalities numbered 141 in Flanders, 133 in Wallonia and 29 in Brussels.

    “There can be a delay of a few days between the death [of a patient] and the point where the doctor informs the regional authorities,” the spokesperson explained.

    Virologist Steven Van Gucht stressed the need to continue to observe the rules of confinement.

    “Since the beginning of April, we have seen a slow and progressive reduction in the number of admissions to hospital,” he said.

    “That is encouragiing, but the road will still be long. The number of deaths is still very high, and is expected to rise in the days to come. There is still a heavy burden on our hospitals. We absolutely have to stay on track. What we are doing now does not show in the figures for ten or 14 days. We will have to live with this virus for months to come. It is vital that we maintain the virus as small as possible, so that in the future we can change track and relax the measures, to allow us to live with the virus in a controlled manner.”

    Update: The number of patients confirmed with the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium is 31,119, as of Tuesday 14 April. Read more about it here.

    Alan Hope
    The Brussels Times