525 new people have tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium, confirmed the Federal Public Health Service during a press conference on Wednesday.
This brings the total number of cases in Belgium, since the beginning of the pandemic, to 47,859. The total reflects all people in Belgium who have been infected, and includes confirmed active cases as well as patients who have since recovered, or died from the consequences of the virus.
263 of the newly-infected people live in Flanders, 174 live in Wallonia, and 75 live in Brussels. The FPS does not yet have further information on the place of residence of 13 other people.
“376 of those positive results come from the classical testing network. 149 come from tests taken in the residential care centres, which are still ongoing,” said Professor Steven Van Gucht of the coronavirus crisis centre.
174 new patients were admitted to hospital in the last 24 hours. "This is a little higher than the number reported in the past two days, but it is possibly due to a weekend effect. In any case, the number is still well under 200," said Van Gucht. 340 people have been discharged, bringing the total number of people in hospital because of the coronavirus at the moment to 4,050.
“Of the patients in hospital, 797 are in the intensive care unit, which is a strong decrease of 79 patients,” said Van Gucht, adding that of those patients, 534 are currently on a respirator, a decrease of 32.
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170 new deaths have been reported, of which 69 occurred in hospitals, and were confirmed cases. 98 of the deaths were reported by the residential care centres, of the majority were confirmed cases.
Of the newly-reported deaths, 103 occurred in Flanders, 55 in Wallonia, and 12 in Brussels. The total number of deaths in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is currently 7,501. “Of that number, 46% occurred in hospitals and 53% in residential care centres,” said Van Gucht.
"In the next few days, we will also be able to report on the number of tests carried out in the national laboratory set up by Federal Minister Philippe De Backer," he added.
"We have to make time to acknowledge the human tragedy that is caused by this virus. The affected families and friends have to say their goodbyes to their loved ones in very strange circumstances," said Yves Stevens, a National Crisis Centre spokesperson. "In normal circumstances, funerals are a time for connection with other grieving people. We have set up some advice which can help with mourning in this coronavirus period, to be found at info-coronavirus.be," he added.
"Step by step, we are safely on our way to a better time. Let us not skip any steps now. Keeping sufficient distance from others will continue to be very important in the coming days," Stevens said. "Let's keep it up. Together, we can do this," he added.
The Brussels Times