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Belgium plunges into a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections as cases surge


A shopper wearing a protective face mask past the poster of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Vaccination Center in a supermarket in Brussels, Belgium, on August 30, 2021. REUTERS / Bart Biesemans

Brussels, October 22 (Reuters)-Belgium’s daily COVID-19 cases jumped to their highest levels in almost a year, and health professionals have come to say that the fourth wave of infection has begun.

According to data from the Sciensano Institute of Health, the country registered about 6,500 new cases on October 18. This is the same as November 10, 2020, a few days before the government imposed a second blockade.

The daily average for 7 days exceeded 3,600, an increase of nearly 60% from the previous week.

The 11 million people country with the European Union and NATO headquarters is one of the countries with the highest per capita COVID-19 mortality rate in the world and one of the European countries where the number of cases is increasing rapidly in winter. is.

Belgian coronavirus commissioner Pedro Falcon said at a news conference that the vaccine could prevent 70% of infections and 90% of hospitalizations, and the majority of people in the hospital were unvaccinated.

For the first time since June, the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals has exceeded 1,000, with nearly 100 new patients admitted daily, up 53% from the previous week, said Sciensano.

“Because of the high vaccination coverage, the impact on hospitalization and mortality is much less than in the first two waves,” said Steven Van Gucht, a virologist and Sciensano spokesman.

Today, more than 8.5 million people in Belgium are fully vaccinated, accounting for 74% of the population.

The government plans to consider measures against coronavirus on October 29, but does not plan to announce a significant tightening.

One possibility is that the COVID pass required to enter cafes and gyms in the southern regions of Brussels and Wallonia could be expanded nationwide.

Reported by Marine Strauss @ StraussMarine; edited by Philip Brenkinsop and William McLean

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters trusts the principles.





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