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15 May - COVID-19 News update

15 May 2020 12:25 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

COVID-19 selected news snippets for Friday, 15 May 2020.

The rate of reproduction of the virus has increased in Belgium. Virologist Steven Van Gucht reassures: it is too early to link this increase with the start of deconfinement. However, experts warn: the next three weeks will be crucial. “We feel that the politicians have used all the leeway they have. So we are worried." They recommend acting quickly in the event of a resumption of the epidemic, "so as not to make the same mistake as at the beginning, but that does not mean that we must directly opt for a total reconfiguration."

Belgium is looking into the issue of a possible COVID-19 vaccine. And the Superior Council of Health (which is responsible for making recommendations to the Ministers of Health regarding a vaccination plan) is formal, there will not be a vaccine for everyone. The Superior Health Council tries to determine priority groups.

An initial delivery of a million cloth mouth masks will arrive on Friday at the military complex in Peutie, said Minister of Defense and Foreign Affairs Philippe Goffin.

Healthcare providers are under heavy pressure during the corona crisis. 4 in 10 report sleep deprivation, a quarter complain of concentration disorders and anxiety. That is almost 5 times higher than usual.

The number of temporary unemployed increased by half in April compared to March.

The Brussels region supports the cultural sector with measures worth nearly EUR 8.5 million. Brussels is adopting specific measures to support the cultural sector, focusing on Brussels non-profit organisations and intermittent culture workers who have so far been unable to claim assistance.

The catering sector hopes to be able to receive customers again on 8 June with the start of phase 3, and is already working on a plan to make this reopening as smooth as possible.

This year, KBC bank expects to have to write down about EUR 1.1 billion in losses due to the corona crisis because customers do not repay their loans correctly.

Research Hogeschool Odisee: more than 8 out of 10 people want to continue working from home after corona. 

Antwerp Zoo, Planckendael and Pairi Daiza will open their doors again on Monday 18 May. The first two weeks Zoo Antwerp and Planckendael will do this exclusively for members, the general public can visit from 1 June.

The consumer or the patient can refuse the payment of “Covid supplements”. The consumer organisation Test Achats said that consumers and patients can refuse to pay the "Covid supplement" included in their bill if the service provider has not informed them of the price increase beforehand. Sometimes reaching up to EUR 50, this supplement is now mainly imposed by certain garage owners and dentists. Other professionals may also consider using it.

Le Pain Quotidien has filed for judicial reorganisation.

The Summer Sales will now take place in August instead of July.

Flemish schools open their doors today for a day of trial runs after 10 weeks. Only a couple of years can attend, the other vast majority of students still have to remain at home.

STIB/MIVB - an agreement was reached between management and unions on Thursday. The agreement is conditional on a return to work. However, services are still experiencing disruption this Friday morning. Seventeen bus lines are not running but the metro runs normally.

The Zinneke parade will be virtual this Saturday.

Sciensano update of 15 May. 365 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Belgium over the past 24 hours of which 28 (8%) were in Brussels. To date, a total of 54 644 confirmed cases have been reported in Belgium with 5 563 (10%) cases located in Brussels.

In the past 24 hours, only 67 patients with COVID-19 have been hospitalised and 190 people left hospital. Between 15 March and 14 May, a total of 16 540 patients with COVID-19 have entered hospital and 14 301 people have left.

56 new deaths from COVID-19 in Belgium have been reported in the past 24 hours of which 11 (20%) were in Brussels. To date, a total 8 959 deaths from the disease have been reported in Belgium of which 1 385 (15%) were in Brussels.

Currently 380 COVID-19 patients are in intensive care units in Belgian hospitals.

Read the daily report (in French) here.

Useful Links

Federal Government COVID-19 information

The Bulletin's COVID-19 webpage (updated daily)

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