668 new people have tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19), confirmed the FPS Public Health during a press conference on Wednesday.
429 of the newly-infected people live in Flanders, 176 live in Wallonia, and 57 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 4,937.
The total number of people admitted to hospital because of the coronavirus on Wednesday is 2,152. “This is an increase of 434 patients in one day,” said professor Steven Van Gucht. Of those patients, 474 are in the intensive care unit.
115 new people have been cured and discharged from the hospital in the last 24 hours.
56 new deaths have been reported on Tuesday, bringing the total number of deaths in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic to 178. “However, not all of these deaths took place in the past 24 hours. Reporting them can take a little time, as the number is the sum of the reports from hospitals, care centres and home situations,” said Van Gucht.
“This is a further increase in the total number of infections and new people in the hospital, which shows that we have not yet reached the peak of the outbreak,” said Van Gucht.
He also said that wearing masks on the streets is not necessary. “It can give a false impression of safety,” he said, adding that the virus is mainly transmitted through people’s hands. “Good hygiene remains incredibly important. That is much more useful than wearing masks on the streets,” Van Gucht added.
“The measures are very drastic, but it is of capital importance that we keep following them. We have no choice,” said Yves Stevens, a spokesperson of the National Crisis Centre.
“The Centre for Cyber security Belgium (CCB) has warned for a strong increase in the amount of false information about the coronavirus online, going from offers of hand sanitisers to links going to fake news websites and false fundraisers for victims of the virus,” he added.
“Everyone can and must contribute to the success of these measures. By strictly following them, we can ensure that the situation in the hospitals remains manageable,” Stevens added.
Update: The number of patients confirmed with the coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium is 6,235, as of Thursday 26 March. Read more about it here.