COVID-19 selected news snippets for Wednesday, 6 May 2020.
Sciensano update of 6 May. 272 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Belgium over the past 24 hours of which 10 (4%) were in Brussels. To date, a total of 50 781 confirmed cases have been reported in Belgium with 5 186 (10%) cases located in Brussels.
Based on the number of cases per 1000 inhabitants, the commune of Bouillon comes out on top of worst hit places in Belgium, with 17 in every thousand people infected.
In the past 24 hours, just 116 patients with COVID-19 have been hospitalised and 290 people left hospital. Between 15 March and 5 May, a total of 15 855 patients with COVID-19 have entered hospital and 12 731 people have left.
339 new deaths from COVID-19 in Belgium have been reported in the past 24 hours of which 52 (15%) were in Brussels. To date, a total of 8 339 deaths from the disease have been reported in Belgium of which 1 300 (16%) were in Brussels.
Read the full daily report (in French) here.
The National Security Council is meeting from 9 am today to discuss phase 1b of the exit strategy, the opening of all stores, currently scheduled for Monday 11 May and future options. A decision on Youth camps organised this summer will only be discussed in "the third week of May" and a limit of 50 young people is being considered. No decision on vacations abroad this summer is expected before the end of May.
Wider testing for infection with the coronavirus is one of the pillars of the exit strategy. "The role of the GP is crucial in this story," says virologist Steven Van Gucht. Since Monday you can go to a general practitioner for a COVID-19 test, however not all GPs have been able to obtain testing kits. GPs will also soon be able to issue a "quarantine certificate". This specific medical certificate would be issued after a positive tested or previous close contact with infected other persons.
A study by a team from the University of Ghent and the University of Austin in Texas has shown that llamas produce antibodies capable of neutralising the coronavirus.
According to a survey by HR company Acerta, 45% of companies would continue to allow home work.
Store chain Veritas had the highest turnover ever on Monday - on the first day that the shops could reopen, 'after a rush on the shops'
Mayors of coastal towns have worked out a plan for the summer. They hope to be able to receive day tourists from 8 June.
The City of Brussels plans to pass an order requiring all restaurants serving takeaways to close by 22h30.
Throughout the Brussels region, street parking rules will be enforced again from 18 May.
Five percent of travellers did not wear a mask on STIB vehicles on Monday
Almost 90% fewer flights were recorded at Brussels Airport in April. No improvement is anticipated for May.
Until 8 June, Thalys will keep its minimum offer, with one round trip between Brussels and Paris and one round trip between Brussels and Amsterdam per day. From 9 June, more Thalys high-speed trains will run again: about 20% of normal capacity.
Anyone who does not respect the quarantaine measures risks mandatory hospitalisation, if necessary, with police surveillance. (VRT)
Under a series of strict conditions, the Botanic Garden of Meise will open its doors again on Friday 8 May.
The International Cycling Union announced the Tour of Flanders is scheduled to take place on 18 October.
The “Métro” newspaper will, once again, be available in train and metro stations from 2 June with editions on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Federal Government COVID-19 information
The Bulletin's COVID-19 webpage (updated daily)