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    Covid-19: New cases up by almost 30%

    © Belga

    An average of 588 people per day tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium during the past week, according to the latest figures by Sciensano on Saturday.

    The trend of new infections per day increased by 29% over the 7-day period from 2 to 8 September. This is the seventh day in a row that the average number of new confirmed coronavirus infections in Belgium has risen.

    The total number of confirmed cases in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is 91,537, 969 more than were reported yesterday. However that number includes cases detected in previous days, and only collated now.

    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.

    From 2 to 8 September, the authorities recorded an average of 22.3 new hospital admissions per day, an increase compared to the daily average of 15.7 in the week before. The number of new hospitalisations remains relatively low, but also continues to increase.

    In total, 254 patients are currently in hospital, which is five more than yesterday. Of those patients, 67 are in intensive care, two more than yesterday. Patients on a ventilator number 32, four more that the day before.

    An average number of 2.6 deaths occurred per day over the past week, which is a decrease compared to the daily average of 3.1 the week before.

    The total number of deaths in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is currently 9,919 – two more than yesterday.

    Belgium’s reproduction number (R-number) is currently 1.28, according to Sciensano’s figures. This means that one infected person infects more than one other person, and that the epidemic is growing.

    Epidemiologist Pierre Van Dame of the university of Antwerp, gave a forecast for the months to come.

    We will have more challenges during the winter, because we will be indoors more,” he said. “The catering industry is already preparing for this, which is very sensible.”

    And as the cultural and events sectors finally get up to speed, he offered some advice.

    If we continue to apply the basic principles, not only in the venues, but also on the way there and back, then a lot is possible. It is important that the organisers take their responsibilities seriously and continue to apply the measures with heart and soul.”

    The Brussels Times