Over half of Brussels municipalities beyond new-case alarm threshold
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    Over half of Brussels municipalities beyond new-case alarm threshold

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    More than half of Brussels municipalities are now past the alarm threshold for new coronavirus cases, marking the third increase in days.

    The latest figures by federal health institute Sciensano show that 16 out of the capital region’s 19 municipalities are now beyond the new case alarm threshold of 20 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

    The increase is the third in a week, coming just days after the number of municipalities above the threshold leapt from four to ten on Friday.

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    The only municipalities which remain below the threshold are the eastern Etterbeek, Woluwe-Saint-Pierre and Watermael Boitsfort, with, respectively, 14, 12 and 16 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

    The rate of new coronavirus infections has been accelerating throughout Brussels since Thursday, when only Ganshoren, Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Watermeal Boitsfort and Saint-Gilles were in Sciensano’s watchlist.

    In Uccle and Brussels 1000, novel new cases have been declared daily for, respectively, 12 and 10 days in a row.

    Over the weekend, the rate of new declared infections spiked in particular in Saint-Gilles and Ganshoren, where the incidence of new cases now sits at 52/100,000 residents.

    The increase comes as authorities in Brussels double down on efforts to cap the incidence rate, boosting testing centre’s capacity.

    It also comes after Brussels Mayor Philippe Close called for access to testing to be made easier in Belgium, by doing away with barriers which complicated residents access to a coronavirus test.

    Nationwide, with 214 new cases/100,000 inhabitants, the Antwerp municipality of Wijnegem, overtook nearby Borsbeerk, as the area with the country’s highest incidence of novel new cases.

    Belgium’s average of new daily infections rose again on Monday, sitting at 490 new cases per day, an increase of 68% in comparison to the previous week.

    Hospitalisation are also on the rise, with an average of 24.4 hospital admissions per day, a 60% increase from the past week.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times