Exponential growth of new infections 'seems to have stopped' in Belgium

Exponential growth of new infections 'seems to have stopped' in Belgium

The exponential growth of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium seems to have stopped for the time being, the Crisis Centre said during a press conference on Monday.

Taking into account the whole Belgian territory, "the exponential growth of the virus seems to have stopped," according to virologist and interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht.

Additionally, a slight decrease in the number of new infections has been recorded in the Antwerp. "This could mean that the peak could be behind us," Van Gucht said.

Recently, the highest numbers of new infections were recorded in the Brussels-Capital Region and in the province of Liège, which both saw about 500 new cases in the past week.

"There are positive signs as well, as the increase seems to be smaller than a few days ago," he said.

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For Belgium, the R-number (reproduction number) is currently 1.12, meaning that someone who is infected with the coronavirus infects, on average, 1.12 others. In other words, the epidemic is still growing.

"However, there are big differences between regions. The R-number is currently highest in and around the Brussels-Capital Region," Van Gucht said, adding that this also includes parts of Flemish and Walloon Brabant.

On Monday, seven Brussels municipalities recorded at least 50 new weekly coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants, a mark designated as alarming by officials.

The R-number is also high in the provinces of Liège and Hainaut provinces.

The weekly average number of new infections in Belgium is 580 per day. Over the past seven days, 4,061 new infections were registered, which is an increase of 16% compared to the week before.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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