Covid-19 spread now slower in Belgium than in neighbouring countries
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Covid-19 spread now slower in Belgium than in neighbouring countries

Credit: Belga

The infection rate of the coronavirus is now lower in Belgium than in its neighbouring countries, meaning that the virus spreads more slowly, health officials stated during a press conference on Wednesday.

The rate at which the coronavirus spreads – shown by the reproduction number (R-number) – is now lower in Belgium than in the Netherlands, Germany, France and Luxembourg, said virologist and interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht.

For Belgium, the figure currently stands at 0.78. As it remains below 1.0, it means that one person infected with coronavirus infects less than one other person, on average.

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According to the countries’ latest official figures, the Netherlands currently reports an infection rate of 1.02, Germany reports a rate of 0.9, France reports 0.89, and Luxembourg has a reproduction rate of 1.

“We are doing well, but we are still a long way from the safe harbour,” Van Gucht said. “What we are doing now, we are doing well, it is important to keep that up.”

However, based on data provided by telecom operator Proximus, Belgians’ mobility has increased in all provinces again last week.

In part, this is explained by the end of the autumn holidays, according to Van Gucht. “It is important, however, that we continue to put maximum effort into teleworking and limiting our close contacts.”

Additionally, the total number of Covid-19 patients admitted to hospital in Belgium dropped below 5,000 on Wednesday. “The pressure on hospitals is decreasing, but remains high,” he said.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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