Belgium continues to experience a rampant increase in positive Covid-19 cases and the Belgian Minister of Health admits that the situation could get out of hand, warning the risk of a tsunami, notably in Brussels.
On the day that the new restrictive measures enacted last Friday by the Government – such as the closure of bars, cafes and restaurants for one month and a curfew between midnight and 05:00 – came into force, Belgian health authorities indicate that in the past two weeks there has been an incidence rate of 747 confirmed cases of infection per 100 thousand inhabitants, What represents an increase of 221% compared to the previous 14 days.
Still without consolidated data from the weekend, the bulletin updated daily by the Belgian health authorities reveals that between October 9th and 15th, there were more than 55 thousand new cases of infection, which represents an average of close to 8 thousand cases per day and an increase of 79% over the previous seven days.
In terms of deaths, Belgium has already reached 10,413 deaths by covid-19, and between October 9th and 15th, an average of 30 people died per day, representing an increase of 89% over the previous seven days.
On the other hand, between October 12th and Sunday, there was a 100% increase in the number of hospitalizations for Covid-19 compared to the previous seven days (daily average of 251.9 hospitalizations, against 125.7 the previous week).
Faced with this scenario, in a country with a similar size to that of Portugal (11.5 million inhabitants), the Belgian Minister of Health, Frank Vandenbroucke, warned, in an interview with the television network RTL, that the country is “really very close of a ‘tsunami’ ”.
According to the minister, the “tsunami” represents a situation in which “there is no longer control over what is happening”, and this is a scenario from which the capital, Brussels, and the southern French-speaking region are dangerously approaching. of the country, Wallonia, which Vandenbroucke even points out as the regions with the most serious health situation in the whole of Europe.
“If this continues, the number of hospitalizations will be such that we will have to postpone ‘non-Covid’ health care more and more ”, pointed out, realizing the fears that within less than a month the intensive care units will no longer be able to respond.
To try to stop the spread of the pandemic in the country, the Belgian Government decided last Friday to decree the curfew throughout the Belgian territory, the closure of bars and restaurants and the mandatory teleworking “whenever possible”, measures that entered Monday in force.
“We are aware that these measures are very harsh and that, for many people, they are unfair, but this virus is also unfair. Even though it affects us all, it mainly affects the most vulnerable people and we must adopt these measures to protect these people ”, underlined the Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander de Croo.
De Croo described the current situation as “serious”, referring that it is an “exponential growth of the pandemic” with the number of cases “doubling weekly”, and that “everyone resents the presence this Monday” of the new Covid coronavirus -19.
“It is important to draw attention: in the coming days, the news will continue to be bad,” warned De Croo.
The Covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 1.1 million deaths and more than 40 million cases of infection worldwide, according to a report by the French agency AFP.