Coronavirus infections in Belgium are rising at a faster pace, prompting concern of a “second wave,” according to Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst.
Speaking on Radio 1 on Friday, Van Ranst called the trend worrying. “When you see these numbers, you can say that the second wave has started,” he said.
A government site shows that the seven-day average of daily new patients diagnosed with COVID-19 jumped by nearly a third in the week to July 13, reaching 114.7 patients a day. This is up from 86.9 daily confirmed infections in the week to July 6.
Monday registered over 200 new cases.
Speaking on the same program, Belgian Health Minister Maggie De Block also expressed concern. “These are certainly not good figures,” said De Block.
She advised the public to be respectful of the safety measures imposed by the government, even “on the beach” and “in your own garden.” The decision on whether to further tighten restrictions will be examined at the government’s security council meeting next Thursday, she added.
There remains good news: COVID-19 deaths in Belgium continue to drop and have been in single digits or even zero since late June. However, experts note that there is often a lag between new infections and deaths.