Belgium’s recent Covid-19 case numbers included many who were not contagious
Monday, 05 October 2020
Many people in Belgium who tested positive for coronavirus this summer were no longer contagious, Belgian daily Het Laatste Nieuws reports on Monday.
It was proven that they were still carrying traces of a previous infection, according to the daily. However, they are still registered as new cases and still trigger a coronavirus alert.
The tests used in Belgium are very sensitive and can detect the presence of the virus up to 83 days after infection. The disadvantage is that people who carry dead parts of the virus and are 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 small. However, it seems that this concerns a very large number of cases detected last summer.
Het Laatste Nieuws was able to consult the results from one of the country’s largest laboratories in Roeselare (in the province of West Flanders) and found that in June, July and August, almost half of the positive cases were in fact people with a previous infection.
The same pattern was reportedly observed in Ghent, Bruges and fifteen other regions. Only in Antwerp did there seem to be many new infections.