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    Coronavirus: Belgium reaches 41,889 confirmed cases

    Credit: Belga

    933 new people have tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium, confirmed the Federal Public Health Service during a press conference on Wednesday.

    This brings the total number of cases in Belgium, since the beginning of the pandemic, to 41,889. 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.

    408 of the newly-infected people live in Flanders, 446 live in Wallonia, and 60 live in Brussels. The FPS does not yet have further information on the place of residence of 19 other people.

    “561 of those positive results come from the classical testing network. 372 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, 171,400 coronavirus tests have been taken in Belgium, of which 4,290 in the past 24 hours.

    263 new patients were admitted to the hospital in the last 24 hours, and 432 people have been discharged, bringing the total number of people in hospital because of the coronavirus at the moment to 4,765, a decrease of 231 patients.

    “Of the patients in the hospital, 1,020 are in the intensive care unit, which is a slight decrease of 59 patients,” said Van Gucht, adding that of those patients in the ICU, 733 are on a respirator.

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    266 new deaths have been reported, of which 87 occurred in hospitals, and were confirmed cases. 178 of the deaths were reported by the residential care centres, of which 13% were confirmed cases.

    Of the newly-reported deaths, 118 occurred in Flanders, 109 in Wallonia, and 39 in Brussels. The total number of deaths in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is currently 6,262. “Of that number, 46% occurred in hospitals,” added Van Gucht.

    “Even though we are still reporting a lot of deaths, we want to note that the peak is behind us, and likely fell around 12 April,” Van Gucht said. “The deaths in the residential care centres are sometimes reported with a few days delay, sometimes even going as far back as a week. This explains that the peak is behind us, despite the high number being reported today,” he added.

    “The figures have painted a hopeful picture for a few days now, and we are all looking ahead to the future,” said Yves Stevens, a spokesperson for the National Crisis Centre. “We are also looking at our neighbouring countries, and how they are relaxing some measures. This is all very understandable, but we must not forget that our behaviour of today will determine the future,” he added.

    “We cannot thank the people in the care sector enough, but by adopting the right behaviour, we can certainly help them,” Stevens said. “Keep following the measures. Set an example, together we can and we will do this,” he added.

    Update: The number of patients confirmed with the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium is 42,797, as of Thursday 23 April. Read more about it here.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times