Belgium’s COVID-19 Cases Surging

A Belgian health official Wednesday warned COVID-19 is spreading “intensively” in the country, with the number of patients admitted to Belgium’s intensive care units doubling in the past month.At a news conference in Brussels, Belgium Federal Virus Taskforce spokeswoman Frederique Jacobs painted a grim picture of the situation in Belgium, saying the number of cases continues to rise, with no fewer than 13 municipalities in which more than 100 people per 100,000 inhabitants have tested positive. “That’s one person in 1,000 infected as of last week,” she noted.A health care worker demonstrates a nasal swab on a patient during a test day at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in Antwerp, Belgium, Aug. 5, 2020.Jacobs said a couple of weeks ago there was a daily average of 292 new cases in Belgium. Last week, they averaged 491 — an increase of about 68 percent. She also said the country saw an average of 2.7 deaths per day last week, up by about 30% from the week prior.Antwerp, considered the current epicenter of the COVID outbreak in Belgium, will open a new testing center Thursday in a converted parking lot, with a capacity to test 4,000 people daily.The government also will test asymptomatic people from across the city at the center, as well as residents from a few neighboring cities. People showing symptoms of the virus are being told to see their doctors.Belgium has reported a total of 69,849 cases, and at least 9,845 people have died since the pandemic arrived in the country.  

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