Brussels and Wallonia report most Covid-19 infections in Europe
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Brussels and Wallonia report most Covid-19 infections in Europe

Credit: BENOIT DOPPAGNE/Belga

The Brussels-Capital Region and Wallonia are currently reporting the highest number of Covid-19 infections per inhabitant in all of Europe, according to virologist Steven Van Gucht.

The infection figures are rising quickly in all of Belgium, but especially in the south of the country. “At the moment, Brussels and Wallonia are at the top of Europe,” Van Gucht told The Brussels Times. “There is no other region in Europe where so many infections are detected at the moment.”

However, it is also important to keep in mind that Belgium has a very high testing capacity, he said, adding that many regions in Europe test a lot less and thus report lower figures.

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“Regardless, you can only conclude that Brussels and Wallonia are currently very badly affected, as far as the number of infections is concerned,” Van Gucht said, adding that the area with the highest infection figures has shifted from the Brussels-Capital Region to the province of Liège.

In Flanders, the figures are not as high, and more similar to those in the Netherlands. “Still high, of course, but not as high as in the south.”

Even in the Czech Republic, which went into full lockdown recently, no region is reporting as many infections as Wallonia or Brussels, according to Van Gucht.

However, the Czech Republic, like Ireland and Wales, which both also opted for a sort of lockdown, have a much lower capacity of hospital beds than Belgium. “They have a very tight margin, and they are intervening very quickly.”

“In Belgium, we are lucky that we have a relatively large capacity of intensive care beds,” Van Gucht said, adding that we have to be careful that we do not become complacent. “We do have more capacity, but it can also be exceeded in the long term, and that is something we absolutely want to avoid.”

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times