Belgium sees decline in new coronavirus cases as hospitalisation rates fall

The general decline in the spread of the coronavirus in Belgium has been further confirmed in the last 24 hours, Brussels-based public health institute Sciensano announced on Sunday.

According to the statement, 77 new hospitalisations were been confirmed in the previous 24 hours, a decrease of 71 patients compared to May 1st. A fall was also observed in new cases of contamination, with 389 confirmed cases, a decrease of 96 patients, over the same time period, with 674 patients in intensive care, down from 649.

79 new deaths coronavirus deaths were recorded bringing the total to 7,844 deaths, 49,906 cases of contamination & 12,309 people cured since the beginning of the pandemic.

As you know, the number of deaths that we report every day does not only reflect the confirmed cases, but also the suspected cases. Together, this means that Belgium reports a relatively high number, especially in comparison with some other countries. Belgium also has a different surveillance system that shows the excess mortality very well. Normally, the baseline is about 300 deaths per day. When the number is significantly higher than that, we talk about excess mortality. From 16th March, we have seen this number climbing fast, showing a significant excess mortality in Belgium.

Professor Steven Van Gucht, coronavirus crisis centre, Belgium

The high mortality rate in Belgium has been largely explained by the fact that in care homes where three or more residents have shown symptoms, all residents are classified as sufferers, and any deaths are recorded as such. Also, unlike in many countries, the UK for example, the figures are closer to real time.

The figures come the day before restrictions are to be relaxed, May 4th, with a further easing planned for the 11th.

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