Belgium in Brief: First Coronavirus Death, Amazon Approaches
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Belgium in Brief: First Coronavirus Death, Amazon Approaches

Belgium continues to face the spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19), but remains reluctant to enact as stringent measures seen in the rest of Europe. As social gatherings are cancelled, and the first death in Belgium is confirmed, here’s the latest info from around the country to get you up to speed, and some non-coronavirus news too.

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. Coronavirus: Belgium reaches 314 confirmed cases

47 new people have tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19), confirmed the FPS Public Health on Wednesday. On 10 March, the network of the National Reference Laboratory tested 639 samples at the KU Leuven, of which 47 tested positive for the virus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Belgium to 314. Read more.

2. Coronavirus: first death confirmed in Belgium

© Belga

The first patient infected with the coronavirus has died in Belgium. The ninety-year-old woman was brought to the hospital on Monday, and had several severe underlying conditions. Read more.

3. Coronavirus: Belgian venues begin to cancel concerts

For the next two weeks, there will be no concerts with more than a thousand spectators in the Sportpaleis, the Lotto Arena and Forest National, while AB is looking into creative solutions to try and make sure events go ahead as planned. Read more.

4. As coronavirus grips EU, how is Belgium responding?

In the face of EU countries fighting the coronavirus outbreak with measures ranging from all-out lockdowns to the rationing of supplies, Belgium shows reluctance to adopt disruptive containment measures, even as leaders say they expect the virus to keep on spreading. Read more.

In Other News

5. Amazon launches in the Netherlands, and eyes Belgian market

Internet retail giant Amazon has launched its new Dutch website Amazon.nl, with a range of more than 100 million products.

Amazon previously used its Dutch site only for the sale of e-books. The new site will not only offer the full range of products, it will also be open to businesses and customers in Belgium. Read more.

6. Do shared e-scooters pollute more than cars in Brussels?

A new study led by researchers at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) has claimed that shared electric scooters in Brussels pollute more than the modes of transport they aim to replace. Industry players, however, remain unconvinced. Read more.

7. Belgian Pride to introduce diversity scan for corporate sponsors

Belgian Pride, the country’s largest event for the LGBT+ community, has announced that it will screen companies and organisations wishing to sponsor the event according to how they practice diversity within the company.

“We no longer wish to work with brands, but with employers in Belgium who work towards inclusion, both in their human resources policy and in their internal and external communications,” said organisers. Read more.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times