While Belgium has passed the mark of 1,000 new infections per day over the weekend, the mayors of Brussels will be meeting today, ahead of the big National Security Council meeting later this week.
Despite the Brussels-Capital Region being hardest hit by the latest rise in infections, however, the meeting is not expected to introduce new measures for the general population, but to focus on the return to classes in schools and universities.
As Sciensano’s latest figures show that teenagers and twenty-somethings are currently the biggest groups among the new infections, experts have asked them to limit their weekend trips home, and asked authorities to focus on making sure student life outside campus does not further fuel the virus.
For new or adjusted country-wide decisions, however, Belgium will have to wait until Wednesday, when the next National Security Council is set to take place.
For now, as has been the case for a while, it’s a matter of wait-and-see.
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:
An average of 1,196.1 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 increased by 62% over the 7-day period from 11 to 17 September, a light slowing-down of the recent upward trend. Last week, several days with more than 1,500 positive tests per day were recorded, according to recently updated figures. Read More.
The number of new coronavirus infections in Belgium is currently highest in the group of 10-to-20-year-olds, health officials said during a press conference on Monday.
As the number of new infections is rising across the country, the age distribution of these new cases seems to be gradually shifting towards a predominance for the group between 10 and 20 years old, said Boudewijn Catry of national health institute, Sciensano.
“The infections in teenagers and twenty-somethings are similar at the moment, but in absolute numbers, the highest numbers have been recorded among teenagers over the last few days,” he said. Read more.
The 19 mayors of Brussels will meet on Monday afternoon to assess the coronavirus situation in the capital as infections figures keep rising and ahead of a national government meeting mid-week.
The meeting was called following an expert committee last week which saw the office of Minister-President Rudi Vervoort decide against rolling out new coronavirus measures, choosing instead to stress the importance of sticking to the existing rules.
On Monday, the 19 mayors will be joined by officials from regional health and security agencies in Brussels in a meeting which will also be attended by the offices of the Flemish and Francophone education ministers. Read more.
Activists with the climate action group Extinction Rebellion (XR) targeted the Belgian Royal Palace as they seek to hike the pressure for more ambitious climate policies.
Climate campaigners tagged the group’s logo onto the palace walls on Sunday along with the message “What is your plan?” written in Dutch.
The move was part of a wider action in which XR members targeted some of the buildings housing Belgium’s highest political offices, such as the Rue de la Loi, where the prime minister’s office is located. Read more.