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Belgium in Brief: Exponential Growth Seems to Have Stopped

Credit: Belga

Even though the number of new infections still continues to increase every day, the exponential growth of the virus “seems to have stopped” in Belgium, according to health officials.

“There are positive signs, as the increase seems to be smaller than a few days ago,” virologist and interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht said during a press conference.

However, despite the smaller increase, the infection figures are still going up, and seven Brussels municipalities have now reached the alarm threshold of 50 new weekly cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

In the meantime, three Brussels men will be brought to court for their part in the massive fight that broke out on Blankenberge beach last weekend, and animal rights organisation GAIA is taking legal action against a woman who locked her dog in an overheated car on Friday.

With that in mind, what else is going on?

Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:



1. Belgian average rises to 580 new coronavirus infections per day

An average of 580 people per day tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium during the past week, according to the latest figures by Sciensano on Monday.

The trend of new infections per day has risen by 16% over the 7-day period from 31 July to 6 August. The number of new cases is still rising, but the increase is smaller than it was yesterday. Read More.

2. Exponential growth of new infections ‘seems to have stopped’ in Belgium

Credit: Belga

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. Read more.

3. Seven Brussels municipalities have reached new-case alarm threshold

Seven Brussels municipalities have now recorded at least 50 new weekly coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants, a mark designated as alarming by officials seeking to contain a resurgence of the virus in the capital.

The latest figures by federal health institute Sciensano show that Anderlecht (74), Jette (55), Schaerbeek (55), Brussels 1000 (53), Berchem-Saint Agathe (52) and Ganshoren (52) were all above the new-case alarm threshold.

The municipality of Saint-Gilles, which was last week leading the Brussels-Capital Region in terms of novel infections detected each week, on Monday had an incidence rate of 50 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Read More.

4. Three Brussels men brought to court after massive fight on Belgian coast

Three Brussels residents will be brought before a judge on Monday for their involvement in a massive brawl that broke out in the Belgian coast at the weekend.

The three men, from Brussels, were arrested after a fight broke out on the beach of Blankenberge on Saturday, after a group of some two dozen youth were told by police that they could not sit on the breakwater due to social-distancing rules.

Around a dozen people participated in the ensuing fight, using parasols, sunbeds and windsurfing poles as weapons against police officers and lifeguards and bringing chaos to a beach packed with day-trippers on one of the hottest days of an ongoing heatwave. Read more.

5. GAIA starts legal action against woman who locked dog in car

GAIA, the organisation that lobbies for animal rights, has instructed its lawyer to file a legal complaint against a woman who locked her dog in an overheated car in Bruges on Friday. The dog died as a result.

The dog had been left alone in the car for more than an hour in the car park of the AZ Sint-Jan hospital.

“Despite all of the awareness campaigns and tragic incidents from the past, people continue to leave their dogs alone in the car,” said GAIA president Michel Vandenbosch. Read more.

6. Past colds may have given protection against Covid-19

A person’s immune system’s memories of past colds caused by less harmful coronavirus relatives could be an explanation for why Covid-19 affects different people so differently.

Previous studies from La Jolla Institute in the United States and a Swedish study from the Karolinska Institute released in June found that people who have not tested positive for antibodies for Covid-19 can still show what’s known as T-cell-mediated immunity to the virus. Read More.

7. More than 290 billion euros in Belgian savings accounts

Belgians have more than €291.5 billion in regulated savings accounts, according to figures released Monday by the National Bank of Belgium (BNB).

Despite the low-interest rates, Belgians continue to opt to place money in savings accounts, breaking new total records. The coronavirus crisis and containment measures have enabled Belgians to consume less and have pushed them to save more. Read more.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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