COVID-19 selected news snippets for Wednesday, 15 April 2020.
Sciensano update of 15 April. 2,454 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the past 24 hours of which 95 (4%) were in Brussels. To date, a total of 33,573 confirmed cases have been reported across Belgium with 3,404 (10%) cases in Brussels.
In the past 24 hours, 250 patients with COVID-19 have been hospitalized and 239 people left hospital. Between March 15 and April 14, 11,932 patients with COVID-19 entered hospital and 7,107 have left.
283 new deaths have been reported in the past 24 hours, of which 37 (13%) were in Brussels. To date, a total of 4,440 deaths have been reported of which 674 (15%) were in Brussels.
Read the full daily report (in French) here.
At 14h30, the National Security Council will meet again to consider the lockdown measures. In order to limit the spread of the new coronavirus and to continue to reduce the number of infections, the measures are expected to be extended by another two weeks. The first report of the Group of Experts in charge of the Exit Strategy (GEES) was submitted to the government yesterday.
Belgium has tripled orders for FFP2 and FFP3 mouth masks with orders for more than 113 million surgical and 49 million FFP2 / FFP3 mouth masks according to Minister Philippe De Backer
A hopeful message from virologist Steven Van Gucht: "The figures are evolving positively," says Van Gucht. "The virus is getting tired. It is important that we now maintain our grip.” After the lockdown, mouth masks will still play an important role, says virologist Marc Van Ranst.
The Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP) has lifted the quotas on paracetamol, the sales of this drug in pharmacies now having returned to normal. However, it maintains the rule of a maximum of one box per patient.
According to the Belgian drug agency, hydroxychloroquine can damage red blood cells.
About a quarter of employers are postponing the payment of their social contributions due to the corona crisis.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects eurozone countries to see their economies shrink by an average of 7.3 percent this year due to the corona virus. Belgium would do slightly better, with an expected contraction of 6.9 percent.
Contactless payments can be made up to EUR 50 from today.
Today, the European Commission has presented its roadmap to prepare for a coordinated release from confinement. The EU wants to avoid the chaos of the beginnings of crisis management. Press release here.
Consumers whose trip has been cancelled can refuse coupons, says Didier Reynders. "It is [the] consumers' right to be reimbursed," said Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice.
Brussels transport company STIB will start carrying messages for family and friends living in Brussels from tomorrow. Anyone can send a written or spoken message via Facebook, followed by the name and address of the person for whom the message is intended. The messages will be played through loudspeakers, while the bus drives through Brussels when in the vicinity of the recipient’s house! STIB Facebook page here.
Mobile phone data show a considerable increase in extra-municipal trips during the Easter weekend. STIB agrees with travel numbers increased by 10 to 15% over the Easter weekend.
Federal Government COVID-19 information
The Bulletin's COVID-19 webpage (updated daily)