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Coronavirus death toll exceeds 4,000 in Belgium

Health authorities confirm slowdown in contagion, hospitalization rates

Agnes Szucs   | 14.04.2020
Coronavirus death toll exceeds 4,000 in Belgium

BRUSSELS 

At least 262 more deaths from the coronavirus were registered in Belgium over the past 24 hours, the health authorities announced on Tuesday, bringing the tally to 4,157.

The latest data from the Federal Public Service of Health shows signs of a slowdown in contagion and hospitalization rates.

As many as 530 new cases were reported, compared to last week’s daily figures of 1200-1700, taking the total number of cases in the country to 31,119.

Similarly, 242 patients were recently taken to healthcare facilities, while previous data revealed 400-600 hospitalizations per day.

“For hospitalization in Belgium, we do not observe a plateau but a slow decrease which seems to be confirmed”, virologist Steven Van Gucht confirmed at the health authorities’ news conference on Tuesday.

However, Emmanuel André, the federal spokesperson for COVID-19-related issues, warned that “if we relax our efforts today, when our hospitals are already very busy, inevitably we will find ourselves in a situation like in Italy or Spain. "

The National Security Council of the federal government will decide on Wednesday if lockdown measures would continue beyond April 19 deadline.

The government imposed strict restrictions on public life a month ago.

People are only allowed to leave their homes for buying food and medicine, visiting a doctor, helping someone in need or going to work.

Only supermarkets and pharmacies can stay open, while snack bars and restaurants are just allowed to offer food for take-away.

People are allowed to take a walk outside with their family members from the same household, but they are required to keep a 1.5-meter distance from others.

Since appearing in China last December, the virus has spread to at least 185 countries and regions, according to figures compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center.

More than 1.93 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed worldwide, with over 120,400 deaths, and over 462,000 recovered.

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