Share article:
Share article:

Belgium in Brief: Did We Miss The Peak?

Credit: Belga

The situation in Belgium is far from great, to say the very least, but according to some experts, it certainly could have been worse if we didn’t take the measures currently in place.

“Through our joint efforts, we have probably been able to avoid a worst-case scenario for our hospitals,” said virologist and interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht.

For the first time since September, the number of patients in intensive care is going down again, although the decrease is very small, with only four patients fewer than yesterday.

This brings the number of ICU patients at 1,470, and the number is unlikely to go up again, according to him.

In total, 7,058 coronavirus patients are currently admitted to hospital, which is 163 fewer than yesterday, meaning that the hoped-for decline in the number of hospital admissions also continues. “However, the situation still remains very difficult,” Van Gucht said.

We know it’s a holiday, you might not even be at your desk, so here’s the news you need to know this Armistice Day.

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. Armistice Day: What’s open in Belgium?

The coronavirus crisis means that Belgium’s regular annual arrangements on Armistice Day have been adjusted to comply with the health measures, ranging from commemorations, to what remains open. So, what is open? Click here.

2. Belgium on Holiday: What is Armistice Day?

Armistice Day on 11 November marks the effective end of World War I and is a day to remember the millions of lives lost to a years-long conflict opposing several European countries to each other.

German and Allied forces officially signed the armistice accord at around 5:00 AM of 11 November, following days of negotiations which had seen the Germans come to the negotiating table after suffering heavy losses during the summer of 1918. Here’s more. 

3. ‘He’s gay’: Belgian MEP’s comment causes controversy online

A comment made by Belgian MEP Johan Van Overtveldt about the sexuality of a journalist during a press conference caused some controversy on social media.

On Tuesday, Van Overtveldt, as Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgets, spoke at a press conference of European Parliament negotiators for the next multi-annual EU budget. Read more.

4. How Flanders indirectly funds fake coronavirus news

The Flemish government is facing claims of indirectly supporting fake coronavirus news, after it was linked to a bi-monthly magazine blaming the virus on everything from 5G to the flu vaccine. Confused? Let us explain.

5. Chovanec: Nazi salute graffiti removed from Ghent wall

A work of Graffiti in Ghent showing a pig police officer doing a nazi salute must be taken down, despite being a commentary on the Chovanec case – where a Slovakian man was killed in an arrest at Charleroi airport. Read More

6. Don’t take a trip abroad today, Crisis Centre warns

Belgium’s Crisis Centre has urged people not to go abroad or to the coast today, but to spend their day off on Armistice Day close to home with the virus’ spread in mind.

“Today, 11 November, most people have a day off. A number of people will also enjoy some extra free time in the coming days,” spokesperson Yves Stevens said during a press conference on Wednesday. “If you are still looking for a place to relax with your family, do not look too far.” Read more.

7. Belgian hospital resumes Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine trials

The Centre for Vaccinology of the university hospital in the Belgian city of Ghent (CEVAC) will start vaccinating its test subjects with Johnson & Johnson’s candidate coronavirus vaccine again on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Ghent’s University Hospital (UZ Gent) confirmed that Johnson & Johnson’s vaccinations would be resumed on Thursday, after they had been halted following the appearance of an “unexplained illness” in a test subject who had taken part in a Phase 3 study abroad in October. Read more.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Experts call for more widespread use of masks as figures rise
As coronavirus figures continue to rise, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has suggested that people return to wearing masks when indoors with ...
Belgium wants to recover €420 million in wrongfully paid out coronavirus aid
The Belgian State intends to recover €420 million of unduly paid Covid-19 aid, La Libre Belgique reported on Thursday. The electronic Council of ...
Why the fight for transgender rights is polarising Europe 
Year after year, Samuel De Schepper would ask Santa Claus to bring him a penis for Christmas. Born female and attending an all girl’s Catholic ...
New offshore wind farm officially opened
Despite being operational since the end of 2020, the SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Alexander ...
Contact tracers have no time for calls, only texts, amid rising cases
Contract tracers will no longer make phone calls to the high-risk contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus beginning from Wednesday, ...
Belgium holds on to top spot in FIFA rankings despite recent losses
Once again, Belgium's Red Devils have held onto their position at the top of the world football rankings, according to an update released by the ...
Proximus pushes for high-speed internet in Brussels and Wallonia
Fifteen municipalities in Wallonia should soon have access to high-speed internet through the rollout of fibre optics in the region, telecoms giant ...
Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
World’s largest chocolate warehouse opens in Flanders
On Thursday, Barry Callebaut – the largest global chocolate processor and manufacturer – opened the world's largest chocolate warehouse in Lokeren, ...
Belgium in Brief: Equal Opportunity To Dance
There's a phrase where I'm from, more often said in jest nowadays, but it came to my mind this morning: "Ye dancin'?" (Are you dancing?), one ...
Farmer discovers cocaine in banana boxes bought in Brussels
A Flemish farmer who purchased boxes of bananas at the market in Brussels on Tuesday came home to discover large amounts of cocaine packed among the ...
Changes to speed cameras increase likelihood of a ticket
Changes to the way speed cameras work in Flanders and Wallonia will increase the likelihood of receiving a ticket when cars pass them above the ...