‘Belgium should reach coronavirus peak by this week,’ says Geert Molenberghs
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‘Belgium should reach coronavirus peak by this week,’ says Geert Molenberghs

Credit: Belga

Although the number of hospitalisations and deaths as a result of coronavirus continues to increase, Belgium should reach the peak of infection rates by the end of this week, according to Geert Molenberghs, professor of biostatistics at UHasselt.

The increase in the infection rate is starting to slow down in the country, as this week a 22% increase was reported, down from 42% a week ago, he told Het Laatste Nieuws.

“It seems that, if this trend will continue, we will reach the infection rate peak sometime this week, and because of the measures that have been taken, we hope that the increase we still see now will become a decrease,” he said.

However, Molenberghs did emphasise that the overall coronavirus figures were higher than in the previous flare-ups.

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“We have had two big waves and four flare-ups where we saw periods of decrease with periods of increase. This one differs from those previous periods, as one flare-up was immediately followed by the previous one, without a cooling-off period in between,” he said.

He explained that it will still take some time before the number of hospitalisations and deaths decreases, even if the number of new infections is slowing down, and warned that the number of people in ICU could come close to that of previous waves.

However, Molenberghs said that the high season for infection is over and that the good weather which is expected in the coming days, and the arrival of spring, will have a good effect on how easily the virus can spread.

“The virus can still persist in the summer, but if we are careful and, for example, do more things outside and ventilate well inside, we can profit from it. The season will play in our favour,” he said.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times