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    Coronavirus: Belgium reaches 3,743 confirmed cases

    Credit: Belga

    342 new people have tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19), confirmed the FPS Public Health during a press conference on Monday.

    173 of the newly-infected people live in Flanders, 118 live in Wallonia, and 45 live in Brussels. The FPS does not have further information on the place of residence of 6 other people. The total number of cases in Belgium, since the beginning of the pandemic, is 3,743.

    “It is once again important to underline that this number is an underestimation,” said professor Steven Van Gucht. “Only people with severe symptoms and health care workers are being tested,” he added.

    The total number of people admitted to hospital because of the coronavirus on Monday is 1,643. “This is an increase of 290 patients in one day,” said professor Steven Van Gucht. Of those patients, 322 are in the intensive care unit.

    “Unfortunately, 13 new people have died in the last 24 hours,” he said. This means that, since the beginning of the pandemic, 88 patients have died from the consequences of the virus in Belgium.

    However, since 15 March, a total of 350 people have also been cured and discharged from the hospital.

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    “For the first time since the outbreak began, we are seeing a slight decrease in confirmed new cases and the number of deaths,” said Van Gucht. “However, we have to remain careful in the next couple of weeks. They will certainly be tough. Not the least for our health workers,” he added.

    The risk of transmission of the virus via packages, among other things, is considered to be “almost zero” according to international experts, reports the FPS Public Health. However, good hand hygiene remains crucial.

    “Unfortunately, we see that the urgency of the situation has not yet been understood by a number of people,” said Yves Stevens, spokesperson of the National Crisis Centre. “If we do not all start complying with the measures now, the risk of the situation getting out of our control is very real,” he added.

    Update: The number of patients confirmed with the coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium is 4,269, as of Tuesday 24 March. Read more about it here.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times