Coronavirus: 62 new deaths, 60 hospital admissions in Belgium
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Coronavirus: 62 new deaths, 60 hospital admissions in Belgium

Credit: Belga/Yorick Jansens

368 new people have tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium, confirmed the Federal Public Health Service during a press conference on Monday.

This brings the total number of cases in Belgium, since the beginning of the pandemic, to 53,449. 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.

199 of the newly-infected people live in Flanders, 131 live in Wallonia, and 36 live in Brussels. The FPS does not yet have further information on the place of residence of 2 other people. “The trend of new infections has stopped decreasing for the time being. This is likely because we have changed the testing strategy, and test a lot more people, also those with light symptoms, now,” said professor Steven Van Gucht.

18,606 coronavirus tests have been taken in Belgium in the past 24 hours, of which 8,459 in classical labs, and 10,147 by the federal testing platform.

60 new patients were admitted to hospital in the last 24 hours, and 55 were discharged. The total number of people in hospital because of the coronavirus at the moment is 2,222. “This trend has stabilised in the past 7 days, but we remain below 100 admissions,” Van Gucht said.

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Of the patients in hospital, 478 are in intensive care units, of which 299 are on a respirator. “This trend has decreased over the past 7 days, by about 5% per day,” he said.

62 new deaths have been reported, bringing the total number of people who died because of the coronavirus to 8,707. “The trend in the number of newly-reported deaths also decreases by about 5% per day,” Van Gucht said.

“We would like to reassure parents about the partial reopening of schools that is approaching. We want to point out that, both scientifically and medically, it is very clear that children only seldom get sick because of the virus,” said Van Gucht. “And if they do get sick, they usually only develop very light symptoms. Only 1.7% of the patients in hospital in Belgium are younger than 19 years old, and those are usually relatively mild infections,” he added.

“The contact tracing has started today,” said Yves Stevens, a spokesperson for the National Crisis Centre. “Unfortunately, we have established that phone calls have been made and messages have been sent by fraudsters,” he added.

“We advise everyone to programme the numbers 02 214 19 19 and 8811 into their phones. If a contact tracer calls you, it will only be with the first number, and a text message will only be sent by the last number,” Stevens said. “If you receive a message that does not come from one of those numbers, ignore it, and do not click on possible links in the messages,” he added.

Update: The number of patients confirmed with the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium is 53,779, as of Tuesday 12 May. Read more about it here.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times