A recent increase in detected coronavirus cases in Ghent and the situation within the city's University Hospital have raised concerns that Belgium could be at the start of a third wave.
Since figures started rising in the weekend, Ghent has reported the highest fourteen-day average for coronavirus infections out of all the major cities in Belgium, according to data from Sciensano, the Belgian Institute for Public Health.
“The symptoms with which patients present themselves are generally more severe than in previous weeks. Additionally, patients are also deteriorating faster. These symptoms are typical of the start of a new wave, which leads us to believe it has started,” lung specialist at the university hospital Ghent, Eva Van Braeckel, told Flemish public broadcaster VRT.
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Around half of patients who tested positive for the virus in the hospital are requiring intensive care, and new hospital admissions are no longer mainly elderly people.
"We have the impression that the number of young people ending up in hospital with serious coronavirus symptoms is increasing. This impression is also shared by colleagues in other hospitals,” Van Braeckel said.
She warned that this could lead to hospitals turning away patients again, but that the evolution of the current situation depends on the government’s next steps.
The Consultative Committee is meeting on Friday to discuss the current measures and decide on possible relaxations or further restrictions.
The Brussels Times