47 new people have tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19), confirmed the FPS Public Health on Wednesday.
On 10 March, the network of the National Reference Laboratory tested 639 samples at the KU Leuven, of which 47 tested positive for the virus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Belgium to 314.
29 of the newly infected people live in Flanders, 11 in Wallonia and 7 in Brussels.
"Once again we see an increase in the number of new cases. Our hospitals are also seeing more people with lower respiratory tract infections. This may indicate the start of a real epidemic in our country," the FPS said on its website.
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"We are only at the beginning of the epidemic," said professor Steven Van Gucht during a press conference.
"We can now lower the peak or postpone it. However, that requires everyone to do their part. Even those who do not belong to a high-risk group have a responsibility to the rest of the population. Yesterday's government recommendations are very important," Van Gucht said, repeatedly stressing the entire population's responsibility to contain the virus.
Earlier on Wednesday, a first Belgian patient, a 90-year-old woman, died of the consequences of the virus.
Update: The number of patients confirmed with the coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium is 399, as of Thursday 12 March. Read more about it here.
The Brussels Times