Coronavirus: more infections, and more widespread across Belgium
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    Coronavirus: more infections, and more widespread across Belgium

    The commune of Braives, with seven new cases the highest per capita incidence in the country. © Jean-Pol Grandmont Wikimedia

    According to today’s news, the number of new infections in the past week has risen by 32% compared to the week before.

    Drilling down into the figures produced by health institute Sciensano, however, reveals that not only has the global number of infections risen to almost 115 a day, but the geographical reach of the virus is also spreading.

    In the previous week to 6 July, the increase in numbers was mainly restricted to the provinces of Antwerp, Liege and Limburg – which borders both.

    This week, on the other hand, increases are registered in all provinces of the country except Hainaut (-11) and the Brussels region (-5). In all other provinces the numbers went up from last week to this week as follows:

    West Flanders + 44 to 130
    East Flanders + 3 to 53
    Flemish Brabant + 11 to 50
    Walloon Brabant + 5 to 17
    Antwerp + 84 to 226
    Limburg + 45 to 85

    Liege + 26 to 48

    Luxembourg + 9 to 21

    Namur + 1 to 8

    There remains a wide variation between the provinces affected, but the important point is that the virus is increasing virtually everywhere.

    At a municipal level, Antwerp city saw the most new cases with 145, followed by Schaerbeek in Brussels with 24. However those are raw numbers which, when populations are taken into account, do not place either commune at the top of the list.

    That dubious honour goes to the tiny commune of Braives in Liege province, which with a population of only 6,325 saw 7 new cases, equivalent to 110 cases per 100,000 inhabitants – the standard way incidence per capita is expressed.

    Aubange in Luxembourg province had an incidence of 82.

    Lower down the list comes Heusden-Zolder in Limburg with 59 new cases per 1o0,000 inhabitants, followed by next-door neighbour Houthalen with 55.

    The website of Sciensano has an updated list of all 581 communes in Belgium giving number of new cases in the past seven days, population, incidence, days since last recorded zero cases and days in the last seven in which cases increased.

    The municipalities with the longest continuous increase (four days out of the last seven) are Schaerbeek, Ledegem (West Flanders), Braives, Beringen (Limburg), Charleroi (Hainaut), Torhout (West Flanders) and Tongeren (Limburg).

    And for the good news: 357 of the 581 municipalities in the kingdom registered zero cases in the last seven days.

    Alan Hope
    The Brussels Times