The corona virus “circulates intensely” in Belgium. The number of new infections is not only increasing in the province of Antwerp, other densely populated cities are also seeing an increase, especially in neighborhoods with a low socio-economic status.
Virologist Steven Van Gucht said this at a news conference from the health authorities on Monday. As in many other areas in Europe, he says there has been a second wave of infections since mid-July. But he is confident that “we can get this new wave under control” if people follow the rule of up to five permanent contacts and go into isolation after they have had contact with an infected person.
Belgium now has thirteen municipalities, including Antwerp, where more than 100 infections per 100,000 inhabitants have been detected. There is also an increase in Brussels. More than 20 cases of infection per 100,000 inhabitants have been detected in 16 of the 19 municipalities in the Brussels region. Face masks are mandatory in busy streets in the capital.
Across Belgium, an average of 491 new cases of infection were recorded daily last week, an increase of 68 percent compared to the previous week. Last Thursday, there were 591. The number of new hospital admissions averages 24 per day. Of the 271 corona patients in the hospital, 58 are in intensive care. That has doubled since mid-July.
In particular, Van Gucht called on young people to adhere to the rules. According to him, many of them feel “not involved in the problem”, even though this group is now more often infected. “We have to work together, the crisis is very real.”