553 new people have tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium, confirmed the Federal Public Health Service during a press conference on Monday.
This brings the total number of cases in Belgium, since the beginning of the pandemic, to 46,687. 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.
281 of the newly-infected people live in Flanders, 189 live in Wallonia, and 77 live in Brussels. The FPS does not yet have further information on the place of residence of 6 other people.
“344 of those positive results come from the classical testing network. 209 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, 214,042 coronavirus tests have been taken in Belgium, of which 6,229 in the past 24 hours.
127 new patients were admitted to hospital in the last 24 hours, and 93 people have been discharged, bringing the total number of people in hospital because of the coronavirus at the moment to 3,968, a slight increase of 11 patients.
“Of the patients in hospital, 903 are in the intensive care unit, which is a slicht increase of 12 patients,” said Van Gucht, adding that of those patients, 600 are currently on a respirator, a decrease of 20.
113 new deaths have been reported, of which 60 occurred in hospitals, and were confirmed cases. 53 of the deaths were reported by the residential care centres, of which 64% were confirmed cases.
Of the newly-reported deaths, 62 occurred in Flanders, 39 in Wallonia, and 12 in Brussels. The total number of deaths in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is currently 7,207. “Of that number, 46% occurred in hospitals and 53% in residential care centres,” said Van Gucht.
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"As you know, wearing a face mask will become mandatory in certain places, like public transport, soon. In the first phase of the epidemic, which we are still in, it is important that everyone stays at home as much as possible," said Van Gucht. "Now that we have the epidemic under control a little better, things are changing," he added.
"This is only possible if five basic rules continue to be respected. First of all, staying at home, especially when you are sick. The others are washing your hands regularly, keep the 1.5m distance as much as possible, and limit your social contacts. Wearing a face mask on public transport and in crowded places is an additional element," Van Gucht said. "The masks will give additional protection, but they will not replace the other basic rules," he added.
"If the progression of the epidemic will continue to evolve favourably, several companies will be able to restart work from next week," said Yves Stevens, a spokesperson of the National Crisis Centre. "Teleworking remains the norm. For companies in which this is not possible, a document with guidelines is available on the federal website," he added.
"Nothing is certain and acquired, the virus has not yet been defeated, and may flare up again at any time," Stevens said. "However, we have to hold on. Together, we'll move forward safely," he added.
Update: The number of patients confirmed with the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium is 47,334, as of Tuesday 28 April. Read more about it here.
The Brussels Times