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Belgium’s decrease of new Covid-19 cases slows down

Credit: Belga

While the coronavirus infection figures in Belgium continue to go down, the decrease is slowing down, health officials said during a press conference on Monday.

“The peak of the second wave is now two weeks behind us, and we are seeing a further decline in infection, hospital and death rates,” said virologist and interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht.

“However, we can see that infection rates are falling less rapidly than in the first half of November,” he said. “The road is still long, and it will not be without obstacles.”

On Monday, Belgium recorded an average of 3,672 new Covid-19 cases per day, which is a 28% drop compared to a week earlier, or a halving of the number of new infections every 15 days.

“That drop is less pronounced than in the first half of November, when we still saw a halving every seven days,” said Van Gucht.

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If the current trend continues, Belgium will report about 500 new Covid-19 infections per day by the end of the year, according to him.

In the meantime, Belgium is doing much better in the European ranking in terms of infection rate. “We are now 18th out of 31 countries in Europe, just below the United Kingdom and just above the Netherlands, in terms of the number of infections per inhabitant.”

Even though the figures are decreasing across all age categories, most infections are still reported among people between 30 and 60 years old.

“The decrease is less pronounced among people over 80 years old, which is in line with the outbreaks in residential care centres reported recently,” Van Gucht said.

Additionally, the number of new infections among children and teenagers does not seem to be falling any further, but seems to be stabilising.

“This has nothing to do with the reopening of schools, it is far too early for that,” said Van Gucht. “However, we are going to monitor this very closely.”

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times