BRUSSELS — Decreasing hospitalizations, fewer confirmed cases and other major public health indicators show that the resurgence of the coronavirus in Belgium is abating.
Virologist Steven Van Gucht of the Sciensano government health group said Wednesday: “The decrease of infections and hospital admissions is continuing. And for the first time, the number of patients in intensive care units is no longer increasing,” said
The daily number of deaths caused by COVID-19 “continues to rise, but here, too, the pace seems to slow down,” he said.
It was welcome news for Belgium, which proportionally is among the worst-hit nations in Europe when it comes to confirmed coronavirus cases. Officials had feared that the nation's maximum intensive care unit occupancy of 2,000 beds would be reached last Friday. ICU bed use is now plateauing and slightly tapering off at 1,470.
“Possibly, we have reached a peak and the number of ICU patients will no longer rise,” Van Gucht said.
Over the past month Belgium has taken increasingly stringent measures to contain the virus, with bar and restaurant closures capped by a partial lockdown, which started last week and put further restrictions on gatherings and forced non-essential shops to shut.
Belgium still had 7,834 new confirmed cases a day over the past week, but it amounted to a 46% decline from the previous 7-day period. The daily death toll for the past week stood at 190 people, a 35% increase.