Share article:
Share article:

Belgium’s coronavirus death toll tops 5,000

Credit: Belga

Belgium’s coronavirus death toll has surpassed 5,000 after 313 deaths were reported in the country in the past 24 hours.

At a daily press conference, public health officials said the country’s death toll stood at 5,163 as of Friday, up from 4,857 the day before.

More than half (199) of the deaths reported within the past 24 hours took place in a nursing home, while the remaining 114 people died in the hospital.

Over half (52%) of the total deaths in the country took place in nursing homes, where authorities have been racing to ramp up testing capacities and to make up for medical equipment and staff shortages.

In a press conference of the National Security Council on Wednesday, Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès beat back questions about whether nursing homes had been left behind, saying their response had been hindered by global supply and test kit shortages.

“Massive testing is currently ongoing in nursing homes — not because they had been neglected before, but because we did not have the testing capacity before,” Wilmès said.

Related News:

Of the 313 people whose death was reported on Thursday, 24% had had access to a Covid-19 test that had turned out positive, according to figures in the latest official situation report.

While the people who died in the hospital, which account for 44% of the total tally, were all tested and confirmed to have the new coronavirus (Covid-19), only 7.8% of those who died in a nursing home were tested and confirmed positive.

With over 1,000 new positive cases confirmed, Belgium’s total count of confirmed cases continued to mount, standing at 36,138 on Friday.

Belgium’s daily testing capacity on Friday stood at 5,000, up from an average of 2,000 tests per day, an increase which follows the creation in late March of a testing task force would aim to bring the number of daily tests up to 10,000.

399 coronavirus patients were released from the hospital in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of patients discharged since 15 March to 7,961.

Of the 5,161 patients who remain in the hospital, 1,140 were in an intensive care unit (UCI) as of Friday, down from 1,182 on Thursday.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Brussels pharmacies report rush on rapid tests due to Covid Safe Ticket
Many pharmacists in Brussels have noticed a remarkable increase in the demand for Covid-19 tests this weekend, following the official expansion of ...
Students filmed naked on ULB campus given a warning
A group of students caught on camera mimicking sexual acts on the campus of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) have been issued an official ...
EU Digital Covid Certificate becomes an international success story
The European Commission adopted on Monday a report on the EU Digital Covid Certificate and its implementation across the EU. According to the ...
Belgian chocolatier agrees to $15 million settlement over misled consumers allegations
Internationally recognised Belgian chocolate manufacturer Godiva has reached a $15 million (€12.9 million) settlement after US consumers said they ...
‘Buying second home does not mean you are rich’: government disagrees on tax break
The Francophone liberal MR party and the Flemish socialist Vooruit party strongly disagree on the current scheme for tax benefits on people's second ...
EMA starts evaluating Pfizer vaccine for children over 5 years old
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has started evaluating an application to extend the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to children ...
Energy prices: EU’s demand and supply dilemma in importing natural gas
The European Commission adopted last week a plan on how to tackle the rise in global energy prices in the short-term while relying on the transition ...
Tram line and cycle path to connect Brussels’ outskirts to airport
Works on a tram line connecting Brussels, the NATO headquarters and Brussels Airport in Zaventem, which could attract up to 10,000 passengers a day, ...
SKYFALL: European police complete counter-drone training in Antwerp
In a joint project between Belgium’s federal police and the Brussels Capital Ixelles Policing Area, 15 European police officers visited Antwerp to ...
Offshore wind farms could help reach climate neutrality by 2050
A study carried out by the Bureau fédérale du Plan (BFP) – an independent Belgian organisation that investigates questions of environmental and ...
Will Brussels bounce back?
The lockdowns have tested the city and forced it to confront key questions about its future. Derek Blyth looks back at an extraordinary moment in our ...
STIB launches free transport for Museum Night Fever this weekend
STIB buses will run between Brussels museums for free on Saturday night as part of the Museum Night Fever celebrations taking over the capital.  ...