This could be the start of Belgium’s third wave, Van Gucht warns
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This could be the start of Belgium’s third wave, Van Gucht warns

Credit: Belga

Belgium could be at the start of the third wave of new infections, but it could stay a small one if everyone continues to follow the measures in place, according to virologist and interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht.

The rising infections and the number of hospitalisations are pointing to the possibility of a worsening situation, he said during a press conference on Friday.

“What we see now could be considered as the beginning of a third wave, but we cannot predict when we will reach a peak or how fast it will come,” Van Gucht said. “But, it is still possible, by following the necessary coronavirus fighting measures, we can make it a small wave.”

“The curve could continue to rise, but it can also decline,” he added. “By making small adjustments in our behaviour, we can make a big difference.”

Van Gucht emphasised that, this week, a 34% increase in the number of infections was registered compared to last week, which points to an “increased virus circulation, which has not been seen since the second wave in October.”

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“If the figures keep increasing at this rate, we will reach the limit of 1,000 patients in intensive care by April, which is a threshold we have to stay below,” he said.

Van Gucht added that the largest increase in infections has been found among children and teenagers, which count for “60% and 56% of the total infections respectively,” with the biggest increase among 10 to 12-year-olds.

However, there is some positive news as well, as infections and deaths due to the virus in residential care centres are continuing to decline due to the successful vaccination campaign of residents.

The Consultative Committee will meet from 3:00 PM today to “analyse the situation in detail based on the latest figures,” the cabinet of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo confirmed to The Brussels Times.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times