Coronavirus: Belgium reaches 15,348 confirmed cases

Coronavirus: Belgium reaches 15,348 confirmed cases
Credit: Belga

1,384 new people have tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19), confirmed the FPS Public Health during a press conference on Thursday.

912 of the newly-infected people live in Flanders, 317 live in Wallonia, and 137 live in Brussels. The FPS does not yet have further information on the place of residence of 18 other people. The total number of cases in Belgium, since the beginning of the pandemic, is 15,348.

The total number of people admitted to hospital because of the coronavirus at the moment is 5,376. “This is an increase of 584 patients in one day,” said professor Steven Van Gucht. Of those patients, 1,144 are in the intensive care unit.

However, 363 new people have also recovered and been discharged from the hospital in the last 24 hours.

183 new deaths have been reported, 73 of which occurred in Flanders, 75 in Wallonia, and 35 in Brussels. The total number of deaths in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is currently 1,011. "93% of these people were older than 65, and 40% were over 85," he added.

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"At the moment, we have 2,393 beds on intensive care for coronavirus patients, of which 1,145 are still free. The occupancy rate at the moment is 52%," Van Gucht added.

"We want to repeat our earlier messages about the masks. Many people are talking about it, and it is an important debate, we understand that people are worried," said Van Gucht.

"However, the most important thing is to keep your distance from others, wash your hands regularly, and do not touch your face. These masks are useful for people who are not able to keep their distance from other people because of their jobs, mainly care workers. For most people in the streets, there is little use," he added.

The FPS Public Health added that the data on the spread of the virus is now made easier to access on the website of the national health institute Sciensano, for epidemiologists.

"Only essential travel is allowed, all other trips are not. Most people are following the rules, but we are asking to keep this up, even though it is going to be difficult with the good weather right now. It is in all our best interests," said Yves Stevens of the National Crisis Centre.

Update: The number of patients confirmed with the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium is 16,770, as of Friday 3 April. Read more about it here.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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