COVID-19 selected news snippets for Tuesday, 5 May 2020.
Sciensano update of 5 May. 242 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Belgium over the past 24 hours of which 12 (5%) were in Brussels. To date, a total of 50 509 confirmed cases have been reported in Belgium with 5 176 (10%) cases located in Brussels.
In the past 24 hours, just 84 patients with COVID-19 have been hospitalised and 63 people left hospital. This is the third day in a row where less than 100 people have been hospitalised. Between 15 March and 4 May, a total of 15 739 patients with COVID-19 have entered hospital and 12 441 people have left.
97 new deaths from COVID-19 in Belgium have been reported in the past 24 hours of which 21 (22%) were in Brussels. To date, a total of 8 016 deaths from the disease have been reported in Belgium of which 1 247 (16%) were in Brussels.
Read the full daily report (in French) here.
Belgium's national security council will meet on Wednesday to discuss the next step in the easing of the country's coronavirus measures - the potential reopening of shops. The experts will discuss a date (provisionally 11 May) and measures aimed at limiting a rush on the shops as soon as they reopen. Also on the agenda will be what should be done about sporting fixtures, including a possible end to the football season.
New bike lanes in Brussels appeared overnight. On Rue de la Loi one of the four (previously) car lanes is now a bike lane.
Belgium's florists have been told they cannot reopen early to sell flowers for Mother's Day (this Sunday). The Royal Union of Florists had asked for permission to open from Friday to Sunday, solely as a collection point for customers, who would order and pay online.
Kids' chain Maxi Toys has applied for bankruptcy protection from its creditors because of the coronavirus shutdown. The group has 200 stores in Belgium, France, Switzerland and Luxembourg.
The coronavirus crisis has put an end to five and a half years of falling unemployment in the Brussels region. At the end of April, Brussels had 87,271 jobseekers - an unemployment rate of 15.5%. The number of job vacancies listed at Actiris has almost halved in April to 1,677.
The virus's reproduction rate in Belgium is now estimated at 0.6 - down from 0.79 last week. This means the virus is in decline.
There has been a "clear relaxation" in people's attitudes to the stay-at-home order since the Easter holidays, according to university research based on mobile phone location data. The study found a 30% increase in trips outside of the municipality of residence during the Easter weekend.
Health insurer Solidaris says it is "unacceptable" that some healthcare providers are adding a "coronavirus surcharge" to their fees - and has called for these to be urgently regulated.
Federal Government COVID-19 information
The Bulletin's COVID-19 webpage (updated daily)