COVID-19 selected news snippets for Thursday, 23 April 2020.
Sciensano update of 23 April. 908 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Belgium over the past 24 hours of which 116 (13%) were in Brussels. To date, a total of 42 797 confirmed cases have been reported in Belgium with 4 345 (10%) cases located in Brussels.
In the past 24 hours, 211 patients with COVID-19 have been hospitalised and 367 people left hospital. Between 15 March and 22 April, a total of 14 008 patients with COVID-19 have entered hospital and 9 800 people have left.
230 new deaths from COVID-19 in Belgium have been reported in the past 24 hours of which 35 (15%) were in Brussels. To date, a total of 6 490 deaths from the disease have been reported in Belgium of which 1 014 (16%) were in Brussels.
Read the full daily report (in French) here.
A draft version of the Belgian exit strategy has been leaked including proposals for the reopening of the economy, social life and schools. First business, then the schools would reopen. A family visit or visit of close friends would be allowed (limited to one evening per weekend and with a group of up to ten people, the same group each week). Teleworking would remain mandatory where possible. According to Prime Minister Wilmès, it is dangerous to spread unconfirmed information now. Her cabinet announced that there will be answers on Friday - after the Security Council - and not earlier.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Alexander De Croo talked about the restart of the economy: it will be under strict conditions. "An exit does not mean that everything is over," he says. "We will have to put conditions on who can restart when. It will be phased. Public transport must also be ready for that.”
According to research by the University of Antwerp, only 3% of Belgians are immune to the coronavirus, that is still a long way from the so-called group or herd immunity.
A bus will run in the Brussels region to test residential care centres’ staff. The nurses, doctors and students on board are all volunteers.
57% of people who show two or more symptoms of COVID-19 still go out and about without additional protection. Only 4% of people with two or more symptoms leave the house with a mouth mask, according to a study of the University of Antwerp.
Four out of ten infected people hardly feel the virus, not everyone gets symptoms.
Iconic Brussels hotel Le Metropole is now likely to close its doors permanently. Its management says the situation is hopeless due to the structural losses of recent years and the current corona crisis.
SNCB asks that people wear a mask when travelling on public transport during ‘deconfinement’.
Belgian State Security is concerned about misinformation about the coronavirus and the rise of extremist publications.
The first day of the month of Ramadan 2020 is today, Thursday, April 23 in Belgium, from 6 pm.
The activities of the Iris Festival (9-10 May), which celebrate the creation of the Brussels Region, are cancelled.
Federal Government COVID-19 information
The Bulletin's COVID-19 webpage (updated daily)