Belgium’s second wave is ‘serious, but not yet desperate’, Covid-19 Commissioner says
Share article:
Share article:

Belgium’s second wave is ‘serious, but not yet desperate’, Covid-19 Commissioner says

© Belga

The situation in Belgium is not yet “desperate” but as the number of coronavirus infections continues to mount, it is becoming worrying, the country’s coronavirus commissioner said Tuesday.

Newly appointed Government Commissioner for Covid-19 Pedro Facon said that while Belgium is currently being hit by a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, but that the country is better prepared than in the spring.

“Preparations are different this autumn,” he said, listing replenished strategic stocks of personal protective material, like face masks as well as a management strategy for hospitals.

Related News:

 

“Screening and triage centres are not quite there yet, but they exist, just as the contact tracing system — and there is also the [contact tracing] application, downloaded by 1.2 million in Belgium,” he added.

But Belgium’s testing and tracing platform has started to buckle under rising infections, leading health ministers to decide to scale back the number of daily tests by only testing those with Covid-19 symptoms, after labs sounded the alarm that they could no longer keep up.

In the interview with Le Soir, Facon acknowledged the delays but said that Belgium had fined-tuned its strategies since March, saying the country now “tested better,” and that an improvement of care for Covid-19 patients had led to fewer deaths.

“People die less [of Covid-19] and we are better protecting our elderly,” he said.

Facon said that the reason officials had sounded the alarm earlier than in the spring was to prevent a just-in-time situation where the risk of lockdown would be greater.

Figures on Tuesday showed that, between 13 and 19 October, the average number of daily hospitalisations reached 266 —an increase of 95% compared to previous seven-day period—, with the daily average of new deaths and cases rose again.

“We no longer want our hospitals to close down, we do not want another lockdown,” he said, adding: “The situation is not desperate, but it is very, very serious.”

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Anti-vaxxers demonstrate against Covid Safe Ticket in Brussels
Hundreds of supporters of the anti-vaxx movement gathered on Saturday outside the headquarters of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to protest ...
Belgium’s investment funds total 260 billion euros in assets
Belgium’s funds industry grew by 5.3% (13 billion euros) in the second quarter of this year, bringing investment funds available to the public to ...
Brussels to Luxembourg by train in two hours soon possible
The fastest train ride between Brussels and Luxembourg currently takes almost three hours, but that could be slashed to about two hours thanks to the ...
Daily Covid infections up by almost 30% in Belgium
Between 6 and 12 October, an average of 2,438 people were infected with the Covid-19 virus every day, according to figures from the Sciensano public ...
Over 80,000 companies in Belgium non-compliant with anti-money laundering meassures
Over 80,000 companies and non-profits in Belgium are still not compliant with the Ultimate Business Owner (UBO) register, which is required of them ...
Increase in tax exemption for donations in Belgium fails to meet expectations
The increase from 45% to 60% in the tax exemption for donations, decided by the former federal government in June 2020, has cost Belgium more than ...
Sex workers in Belgium to get more social rights protection
The social rights of sex workers will soon be better protected in Belgium, Belga News Agency reports. The Council of Ministers has approved a draft ...
Belgian firms sent almost 266 billion euros to tax havens last year
Hundreds of Belgian firms sent close to 266 billion euros to tax havens last year, De Tijd reported on Saturday. Any Belgian individual or firm ...
Belgian investigator wins prestigious US prize
Olivier Hardy, an investigator with the federal police’s anti-terrorist unit in Brussels, DR3, received on Friday a "Top Cop" prize in Washington for ...
Pegasus Project: European Parliament awards journalism prize to investigation of use of spyware
The Daphne Caruana Prize for Journalism was awarded on Thursday to the journalists from the Pegasus Project coordinated by the Forbidden Stories ...
Belgians can now test their knowledge of driving rules and win prizes
The Walloon Road Safety Agency (AWSR) launched on Friday a quiz to allow the general public to test their knowledge of the highway code. Last year, ...
600 extras wanted for film about Belgian ‘Porn King’ and notorious Antwerp nightclub
A Belgian movie telling the story of a notorious Antwerp nightclub with connections to a Belgian 'Porn King' is looking for 600 extras at the end of ...