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Belgium reports sudden spike in COVID-19 cases

Majority of nearly 2,500 new cases confirmed at elder care homes, 283 fatalities move death toll close to 4,500

Agnes Szucs  | 15.04.2020 - Update : 15.04.2020
Belgium reports sudden spike in COVID-19 cases


Nearly 2,500 new coronavirus cases – a major spike compared to recent figures – were registered in Belgium over the past 24 hours, health authorities announced on Wednesday. 

The Federal Public Service of Health's data showed 2,454 more cases have pushed the country’s total to 33,573.

However, officials clarified that only 617 of the latest cases are new, as the remaining 1,837 are final results from more than 10,000 tests conducted at elder care homes since April 10.

Belgium’s death toll moved up to 4,440 after 283 more fatalities were confirmed since Tuesday.

Officials said 250 COVID-19 patients were admitted for treatment, confirming a drop in the number of hospitalizations in the country.

“After a strong increase in the number of cases, we see a tendency towards a slow but real decrease,” Emmanuel Andre, the federal spokesperson for COVID-19-related issues, told a news conference.

Belgium’s National Security Council is expected to decide later on Wednesday whether the existing lockdown measures will be extended beyond an April 19 deadline.

There have been strict restrictions on public life in the country for over a month now.

People are only allowed to leave their homes to buy food or medicine, visit a doctor, help someone in need, or go to their workplace if working from home is not an option.

Only supermarkets and pharmacies can stay open, while snack bars and restaurants can only offer food for takeaway.

People are allowed to take a walk outside with family members or others from their household, but are required to maintain a 1.5-meter distance from others.

The novel coronavirus has spread to at least 185 countries and regions since emerging in China last December, with the U.S. and Europe now the hardest-hit areas.

Nearly 2 million cases have been reported worldwide, with the death toll almost at 128,000 and over half a million recoveries, according to data compiled by the U.S.’ Johns Hopkins University.

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