COVID-19 selected news snippets for Friday, 8 May 2020.
Welcome to this VE-Day issue of our COVID-19 update with the important news that dog grooming salons will reopen from 11 May. Humans still have to be patient.
Sciensano update of 8 May. 591 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Belgium over the past 24 hours of which 57 (10%) were in Brussels. To date, a total of 52 011 confirmed cases have been reported in Belgium with 5 344 (10%) cases located in Brussels.
In the past 24 hours, 108 patients with COVID-19 have been hospitalised and 221 people left hospital. Between 15 March and 7 May, a total of 16 061 patients with COVID-19 have entered hospital and 13 201 people have left.
107 new deaths from COVID-19 in Belgium have been reported in the past 24 hours of which 32 (30%) were in Brussels. To date, a total of 8 521 deaths from the disease have been reported in Belgium of which 1 339 (16%) were in Brussels.
Read the full daily report (in French) here.
The Belgian economy is expected to shrink by 7.2% in a "Recession of historical proportions." The forecast is from the European Commission analysis of the economic shock of COVID-19 that is predicted to be much tougher than the 2008 financial crisis. 6 out of 10 Belgians believe that the COVID-19 epidemic could affect their financial situation, according to a study co-organised by AQRate, Mission-Systole, Spike and Origami PR.
Flemish Minister for Mobility Lydia Peeters wants to use stickers on traffic light controlled street crossings to encourage road users to use their elbow or an object to work push buttons instead of bare hands.
The government of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation approved support measures of EUR 7.8 million to four university hospitals in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation including Saint-Luc University Clinics and the Erasmus Hospital.
The number of Belgians with antibodies against the new coronavirus increased from 3 to 6% between the end of March and mid-April, says epidemiologist Pierre Van Damme of the University of Antwerp. At this level he says: “Group immunity will not happen." In possibly related news Philippe Soubry, the first Belgian who became infected in Wuhan and who tested positive after repatriation in Belgium, is not immune to the new corona virus meaning he could get infected again.
The Ministry of Defence states: 'masks for the population [will be] delivered on 24 May at the latest'
Many commuters have been surprised by the high price of masks sold at rail stations. SNCB explains that private dealers sell them and set the prices. "Depending on the trader and the type of product (disposable, reusable), the masks will be sold between 1 and 15 euros," explains a spokesperson.
COVID-19 screening centres are overwhelmed: “The government is disconnected from the realities on the ground.” In the emergency unit of the Saint-Jean clinic, or rather in the garages of the hospital, the screening of patients is complicated, particularly because no protective equipment has yet been received from the authorities.
ING's profit plummeted more than 40% in the first quarter due to the corona crisis. In contrast, since mid-March, Belgian supermarkets have seen additional sales estimated at EUR 506 million: equivalent to a 10% increase year-on-year.
In Higher Education, more than one in five students have dropped out of studies.
The Waterbus between Brussels and Vilvoorde resumes from Monday morning: the wearing of face masks will be mandatory.
Police checks on non-essential movements are to stop.
Federal Government COVID-19 information
The Bulletin's COVID-19 webpage (updated daily)