Coronavirus: 28 new deaths, 43 hospital admissions in Belgium
Monday, 18 May 2020
279 additional 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 55,559. 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.
147 of the newly-infected people live in Flanders, 108 live in Wallonia, and 22 live in Brussels. The FPS does not have information about the place of residence of 2 other people. “The trend of new infections is still decreasing, by about 7% per day,” said professor Steven Van Gucht.
13,860 coronavirus tests have been taken in Belgium in the past 24 hours, of which 9,694 in the clinical labs, and 4,166 by the federal testing platform.
43 new patients were admitted to hospital in the last 24 hours, and 27 were discharged. The total number of people in hospital because of the coronavirus at the moment is 1,614. “This trend, too, is still decreasing, by about 4% per day,” Van Gucht said.
Of the patients in hospital, 342 are in the intensive care unit. “As with the other trends over the last 7 days, this trend also decreasing by about 5% per day,” he said.
28 new deaths have been reported, bringing the total number of people who died because of the coronavirus to 9,080. “The trend in the number of newly-reported deaths also decreases by about 8% per day,” Van Gucht said.
“Since the gradual relaxation of the measures from early May, people are coming into contact with each other more, which can possibly increase the risk of infection. However, we will only know the results of this in a few days,” Van Gucht said.
“There is a risk of a second outbreak, but it is by no means certain,” said Van Gucht. “Contact tracing is an essential part of the strategy. It remains incredibly important that people who feel sick stay at home as soon as possible, and contact their GP to get tested,” he said, adding that this is “the best strategy to systematically break the infection chain.”
Additionally, the second part of Sciensano’s health survey, which was answered by about 40,000 people, showed that people seem to have developed a more sedentary lifestyle. “56.1% of participants indicated that they sit or rest for more than 8 hours a day, which is double the amount of our 2018 survey. 25% also said that they gained weight since the lockdown measures went into force,” Van Gucht said.
“It is now possible to exercise outdoors again, which is not only good for your body, but also has a positive effect on your mental health,” he added.