The number of corona deaths in our country has increased enormously in recent days. Virologist Steven Van Gucht suspects that a combination of heat, ozone and the corona virus is at the basis of this.
In the week of August 4 to 10, an average of 5.3 people died from the corona virus. That is an increase of 95 percent compared to the week before (2.7). The majority are older people. The heat wave probably plays a role in this. “Last week we recorded about 2 to 3 deaths every day, sometimes with a peak of 5 deaths per day. But there has been a sharp increase since the beginning of this week, with 11 deaths on Mondays, 13 on Tuesdays and 9 on Wednesdays in particular. Three quarters of these deceased persons were nursing home residents. This increase coincides with a period of extreme heat and increased ozone concentrations. We know that heat and ozone, like the coronavirus, are mainly victims of the older segment of the population, who are often in fragile health. It is therefore possible that all these factors – heat, ozone, coronavirus – together contributed to this mortality peak, ”Van Gucht explains at the Sciensano press conference. The total death toll in our country is now 9,916.
Reached peak in Antwerp
In the same period, an average of 605.7 people contracted the corona virus. That is a further increase of 9 percent compared to the week before (556.1). The number of infections is therefore still increasing, but the increase is gradually slowing down further.
We still find the largest number of new cases in the province of Antwerp. More than 1,300 new cases were diagnosed there in the past week, about a third of all cases in Belgium. But just like in previous days, we see that in Antwerp the number of new cases is decreasing. For example, today we notice a decrease of 3 percent compared to the figures of the week before.
Doubling of figures in Brussels
More worrying is the situation in the Brussels-Capital Region, where some 750 new cases were diagnosed last week and that number continues to increase, now by about 50 percent compared to the week before. In Brussels, we see a doubling of the figures every two weeks. Although more tests have been carried out recently, the number of positive tests also continues to rise. “Despite the increase in the number of tests, we also see that the percentage of positive tests continues to increase in Brussels and this week it was about 6 percent of the tests. This also points to a strong local circulation of the virus in Brussels, ”he said.
More hospital admissions
In terms of hospital admissions, we are still seeing a steady increase. Meanwhile, an average of 33 new admissions per day, an increase of 35 percent from last week (24.4). By way of comparison: at the beginning of July we were on an average of 10 admissions per day. That has more than tripled.