Coronavirus slowdown in Belgium is ‘confirmed,’ says epidemiologist
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    Coronavirus slowdown in Belgium is ‘confirmed,’ says epidemiologist

    "The slowdown is confirmed, the peak of net hospitalizations/ICUs could be reached early next week," said Gilbert. Credit: Belga

    The slowdown of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium is confirmed, according to epidemiologist and FNRS Senior Research associate Marius Gilbert.

    “The slowdown is confirmed, the peak of net hospitalisations/ICUs could be reached early next week,” Gilbert, who is the head of the Spatial Epidemiology lab (SpELL), tweeted on Wednesday, after the Belgian health authorities’ daily press briefing.”The increase in deaths is likely to continue beyond this date,” he added.

    Over the last 24 hours, 560 people have been hospitalised and 67 new people have been admitted to intensive care, the FPS Public Health announced on Wednesday.

    “Today, we see that the strength of the epidemic is gradually decreasing,” said virologist Emmanuel André at the conference. “However, it is too early to say when the peak or the plateau will occur,” he added.

    “We know that the measures we’re taking and the trend we’re observing are heading in the right direction, even if the number of people still needing to be hospitalized these days remains very high,” he said. “It is essential that we keep up our efforts to keep this situation under control as much as possible. This concerns everyone,” André added.

    On Twitter, Gilbert also shared a graph, which shows the evolution of the “doubling times,” meaning the number of days in which the numbers for confirmed cases, deaths, hospitalisations and intensive care admissions double. As the number of days before a doubling is increasing with time, a more pronounced slowdown in hospitalised and ICU patients is shown, Gilbert said.

    It now takes five days for the total number of confirmed cases to double, compared to less than three in mid-March. For the other data, the trend is even more noticeable, as the doubling now takes almost eight days for the number of patients in intensive care, compared to less than two mid-March.

    For the number of hospital admissions, it now takes seven days, compared to one and a half in mid-March, and five days for total deaths, compared to one and a half then.

    The Brussels Times