Belgium expected to stabilise, now ‘same as France and Netherlands’
Monday, 05 October 2020
The stabilisation of Belgium’s coronavirus cases did not happen as expected, as the number of new cases not only keeps rising, but the increase is also accelerating again, health officials said during a press conference on Monday.
“The stabilisation that we had hoped for only last week has not continued,” virologist and interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht said. “On the contrary, we are once again seeing a clear increase in cases, in all provinces and all age groups.”
However, the tests used in Belgium are very sensitive and can detect the presence of the virus up to 83 days after infection, according to reports by Het Laatste Nieuws on Monday. The disadvantage is that people who carry dead parts of the virus – and are therefore no longer contagious – are also detected, and identified as a new case.
If only a small minority of the total number of positive tests would be concerned, the impact would be relatively small, but it seems that it concerns a very large number of cases detected last summer.
Despite the number of new cases potentially not being as high as reported, however, the number of new hospital admissions and patients in intensive care is also going up steadily. “There are currently 186 patients in intensive care, that is 38% more than the week before,” he said.
Just under a third (52) of all patients in the ICU are currently being treated in hospitals in the Brussels-Capital Region. However, new patients are already being transferred to hospitals outside the region, as several hospitals have reached their capacity if they want to continue to guarantee regular care.