Share article:
Share article:

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

Latest news

Masks reintroduced indoors, teleworking encouraged
Masks will again be mandatory inside shops and other indoor public spaces, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced in a press conference on ...
Belgium intends to activate the pandemic law, says Health Minister
"We intend to activate the pandemic law," Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed on Tuesday in the House committee, ahead of Tuesday's ...
Offers for fake Covid Safe Tickets circulating on social media
As the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) becomes mandatory in many places across Belgium, offers for forgeries are increasingly circulating on social media. ...
EU auditors: More worried about the future budget than about pervasive errors in the 2020 budget
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) have signed off the 2020 EU accounts as giving a true and fair view of the union’s financial position but like ...
Belgium aims to tackle sexual violence with video interrogations
The federal government is looking to tackle sexual violence and increase convictions connected to this crime by relying more heavily on video ...
Duvel celebrates 150th anniversary with special brew in commemorative bottle
Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the release of a special brew in a commemorative bottle shaped like its ...
Pollution scandal: 3M to show emissions don’t pose risk or halt production
Flanders has ordered American company 3M, involved in a pollution scandal in Antwerp, to prove that emissions linked to its production activities do ...
The Netherlands fears a greater rise in sea levels than forecast
Sea levels could rise by up to two metres by 2100 on the Dutch coastline – far more than previously forecast – according to an announcement from the ...
The Smurfs return to Belgian TV with the first new show since 1989
A new Smurfs show is bringing the characters of Belgium's second-most-famous comic franchise back to the small screen with their first new series, 30 ...
On this day in Brussels: An entrepreneurial journey begins
The Rue Dansaert was just beginning to become trendy when Alain Coumont opened his first bakery here on 26 October 1990. He started by baking big ...
Almost half of Belgian subsidies from EU left unused
Belgium left almost half (49%) of its subsidies allocated by the European Union between 2013 and 2020 unused, the equivalent of around €1.375 ...
Visitors to embark on Orient Express adventure at Brussels exhibition
An exhibition dedicated to the Orient Express – the train that was the scene for many novels, including Agatha Christie's – allows visitors to ...