Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Total coronavirus cases pass 45,000 in Belgium

Government to lift lockdown measures in 3 steps from May 4

Agnes Szucs   | 25.04.2020
Total coronavirus cases pass 45,000 in Belgium


Belgium reported 1,032 more coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, health authorities announced on Saturday, bringing the tally to 45,326.

According to the latest data published by the Federal Public Service of Health, 168 more patients lost their lives, while 6,917 passed away since the beginning of the crisis.

Currently, 4,195 people are treated in hospitals, with 934 of them in intensive care units.

Health experts claimed earlier this week that the outbreak reached its peak on April 12, and the numbers have proven a significant decline since then.

The federal government led by Sophie Wilmes announced on Friday to gradually lift strict limitations on public life.

After nearly eight hours of negotiations, the National Council Security composed of some members of the government and experts decided to phase out lockdown measures in three steps.

From May 4, public transport will resume normal schedules, but passengers will be required to cover their nose and mouth.

Companies in non-essential sectors can restart work, but only business-to-business commerce will be allowed.

From May 11, all stores can reopen with serious sanitary rules.

People will also be able to exercise outdoors with up to two people who do not belong to their own household.

From May 18, students can return to primary and secondary schools with the limitation to let a maximum of 10 students in the same classroom.

In this phase, moderate-size family gatherings, weddings, funerals or excursions might be authorized depending on the pandemic situation.

If the number of hospitalizations allows, bars and restaurants may reopen from June 8, and summer travels might also get an authorization.

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

More than 2.82 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed worldwide, with over 197,900 deaths, and over 798,400 recovered.

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