News World Belgium holds off on further easing steps as COVID cases turn higher

Belgium holds off on further easing steps as COVID cases turn higher


Belgium postponed a further easing of rules on social gatherings on Wednesday after an uptick in the number of coronavirus infections, and the prime minister said she could not rule out the reintroduction of lockdowns in areas worst affected.

Sophie Wilmes told a news conference that the reproduction rate of COVID-19 infections had risen above 1 once more, indicating that the virus was again spreading exponentially in the country.

“This means that the epidemic is getting worse, gaining strength, even if it is still limited right now,” she told a news conference after a meeting to decide on next steps. “But it is not good and we are monitoring the situation very closely.”

Belgium reined in the virus by imposing a strict lockdown, and on Tuesday it reported zero new COVID-related deaths over the previous 24 hours for the first time since March 10.

The total number of deaths reported by the national public health institute Sciensano stood at 9,788 on Wednesday. In a country of 11.5 million, that works out to around 850 deaths per million, the highest rate in the world apart from the tiny city state of San Marino.

Lockdown measures imposed in March have been eased with the flattening curve of confirmed infections, which stand at 62,872.

However, the daily average of new cases in the last seven days was 96, up 8% from the previous week, Sciensano said.

Wilmes said a rule limiting people to meeting a maximum of 15 friends per week still applied and – noting that the infection rate was highest among young people – said a ban would remain on nightclubs and other “super-spreader” gatherings.


Top Stories

Police chasing suspects in Paphos

Members of the Anti-Narcotics Unit who were watching some suspects for drug trafficking, according to first information, chased a suspicious vehicle which tried to...

71-year-old dead in accident

During an accident that took place this morning in the district of Nicosia, 71-year-old Andreas Alexandrou from Kato Moni of Nicosia District lost his...

Rain and hail in Lympia and Xylotympou (PHOTOS)

Rain and hail were seen in various areas of Cyprus. Social media users published photos from Lympia and Xylotympou. (philenews)

Afternoon lessons in Limassol postponed

The Limassol Municipality announced that the scheduled for 19 October beginning of the Limassol Municipality Open School lessons will be postponed until further notice....

Nippon Foundations makes big donation to Cyprus

One of the most known cultural foundations of Japan, the Nippon Foundation, made a big donation of books to Cyprus. The books were donated...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...