COVID-19 selected news snippets for Thursday 9 April 2020.
Sciensano COVID-19 update of 9 April. 1,580 new confirmed cases have been reported in the past 24 hours of which 149 (9%) were in Brussels. To date, a total of 24,983 confirmed cases have been reported with 2,664 (11%) in Brussels. 459 patients with COVID-19 have been hospitalized in the past 24 hours and 483 people discharged. Between 15 March and 8 April 9,894 patients with COVID-19 were admitted to hospital and 5,164 people were discharged. 283 new deaths have been reported in the past 24 hours. At the close of this report, a total of 2,523 deaths have been notified of which 410 (16.2%) were in Brussels. Full report here.
The National Security Council will meet next week to decide whether containment measures will be extended until May 3.
Belgian WHO Europe Director Kluge described the situation in Europe as 'very worrying' and emphasised that the positive developments in some countries do not mean that the virus has been defeated. "It would be dangerous to think we are approaching the end," said Kluge.
Interior Minister Pieter De Crem says police may in some cases enter a home to stop a lockdown party.
Wallonia, Brussels and Flanders have asked for help from the army in residential care centres. Since Tuesday, Belgian army medical personnel have been present in a residential care centres in Jette.
The intensive care units in the Belgian hospitals still have enough beds, but are not yet ready for a new influx of corona patients should containment measures be weakened.
Hydroxychloroquine is already being given to some patients. It has been shown in the laboratory that it has an anti-inflammatory action and that it reduces the production of viruses. “We have done this empirically in crisis times, counting on the fact that even if there is no benefit for the patient, that person’s viral load was going to decrease, which also helped to protect the nursing staff," Erasme Hospital doctor Jean-Christophe Goffard said.
Municipality of Saint-Josse plans to distribute reusable masks to residents.
Disinfectant gel production capacity has increased by one million litres with the help of the Belgian chemical, pharmaceutical and food companies.
The Brussels regional government has decided to grant a single bonus of EUR 4000 for establishments forced to close. Other measures are under consideration.
The European Commission wants to keep the external borders of the European Union closed for longer to curb the spread of the corona virus. It proposes to extend the ban on non-essential travel to the EU until May 15.
Prisoners in Belgium have already produced 27,350 masks since the outbreak of the new coronavirus. 17,500 of these masks were intended for the penitentiary institutions themselves. In addition, 6,500 masks were handed over to care organisation Child and Family, 1,000 to the Immigration Office, 3,500 to the courts, 2,000 to the FPS Finance and the European Parliament also placed an order.
In the frozen food department in supermarkets, fries, croquettes and duchess potatoes are wildly successful. Sales of fresh potatoes also increased dramatically during containment. It is therefore undeniable: the potato remains staple food for the Belgian consumer.
The interchange between the E40 and the R0 from Louvain to Woluwe-Saint-Etienne on the Brussels ring will be closed on weekdays between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. for three weeks from April 13.
Federal Government COVID-19 information
The Bulletin's COVID-19 webpage (updated daily)