The city of Brussels is continuing to see an increase in COVID-19 cases as the spread of the virus slows elsewhere in Belgium, new weekly figures showed Saturday.
Brussels counted a total of 874 new infections in the past week, an increase of 68 compared to the week before.
Brussels on Friday joined Madrid as one of the few regions in Europe that reported more than 120 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 over the last 14 days, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
The Flemish-Brabant province has also seen an increase in infection rates. The city of Antwerp, which faced a steep rise in cases a few weeks ago, saw a drop in new cases of almost 40 percent in the past week.
The number of new deaths due to COVID-19 doubled in the past week to 10 in total across the country.
Experts this week warned Brussels’ lawmakers to impose tougher measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Brussels authorities imposed a blanket requirement to wear a face mask in public two weeks ago. But authorities have since refrained from imposing tougher measures, instead opting to follow the national guidelines put forward by the federal government.
The Brussels region is struggling with “a typical metropolitan challenge,” its Mobility Minister Elke Van den Brandt said this week: “Residents don’t live in a house with a garden, they live in apartments, often with a lot of people in a small space. The lockdown measures bore heavily on Brussels’ residents,” she said.