The Belgian prison Namur has been closed, just as the inmates have been locked inside their cells after half of them tested positive for coronavirus. It writes AFP.
There are 132 inmates who are corona positive, while 60 out of 115 employees have also been tested positive. An inmate is hospitalized and the situation is described as “very serious”.
The average number of new Covid cases in Belgium is up again, by 19%. In some places like Ghent the rise is a staggering 70%.
Meanwhile, the number of hospital admissions is also climbing again, after having been relatively stable for some weeks.
124 patients were admitted to hospital each day on average between 17 and 23 February. This number is 5% up on the week. Yesterday, 152 people had to be hospitalised due to Covid-19.
There are 1,707 corona patients staying in Belgian hospitals now. 355 of them are in intensive care units, 176 of them are on ventilators.
We are currently finding in Belgium more and more young people under the age of 19 infected by the coronavirus.
6,598 tests have been carried out on 5,328 different pupils or staff members, in 23 Flemish schools in Belgium.
“The analysis of these tests shows that the majority of positive cases in children attending school are mainly in the age group of 5 to 12 years,” notes the report.
This age group, which had been little tested until then and within which the English variant, unearthed in 7 of the 23 targeted schools, wreaked “havoc”, which constitutes a “striking finding”.
This may explain, perhaps, where the coming restrictions on extracurricular activities for children under 12 come from.
Almost three in ten (28%) general practitioners in Brussels have been infected with coronavirus, according to a survey by the Federation of Brussels General Practitioners (FAMGB).
Among the infected GPs, 73% believe they were infected by a patient. In 55% of cases, the infected GPs could not work for less than ten days.
Belgium has declared its first major outbreak of the South African variant of the virus that causes Covid-19 [501Y.V2], with the infection of 15 people in Ostend.
One case of the variant was detected earlier in the week in the coast city. Today, another 14 were discovered in the geriatrics department of the Sint-Jan hospital. Another single sample was found in a care home.
And the chance is high that more cases will come to light. Another 22 residents of the home are infected with Covid-19, but their samples have not yet been tested for the presence of the variant.
“The governments of Australia, Italy and the Netherlands say they detected cases of the new strain. It was identified in the Netherlands in early December.
A few cases of COVID-19 with the new variant have also been reported to the ECDC, Europe’s disease monitoring agency, by Iceland and Denmark. Media reports in Belgium say cases have also been detected there.”
There have now been more than 60,000,000 confirmed coronavirus infections globally and the infection rate is still increasing.
The new coronavirus resurged again and again in the body of an infected man, eventually killing him while showing evidence of fast-paced evolution.
Manuela Cernadas and Jonathan Li at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and their colleagues followed the course of COVID-19 in a 45-year-old man with a long-standing autoimmune disorder, who was on a medication regimen that included powerful immunosuppressants
Roughly 40 days after the man first tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, follow-up tests indicated that the virus was dwindling — but it surged back, despite antiviral treatment.
The man’s infection subsided and then returned twice more before he died, five months after his first COVID-19 diagnosis. Genomic analysis showed that the man had not been infected multiple times. Instead, the virus had lingered and quickly mutated in his body.
A healthy young woman who developed antibodies against the new coronavirus (Covid-19) after being infected in the first wave of the pandemic was reinfected in September, De Standaard newspaper reported on Saturday, based on a Belgian case study that is still to undergo a peer review.
This could indicate that the number of antibodies drops relatively quickly after infection, virologist Kevin Ariën of Antwerp’s Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITG) commented.
This is probably the first documented case in the world in which it had been noted that the infected person’s immune system had been intact, and their immune response had been good, after a first infection.
“In previous reinfection cases, the immune response had not been measured or was not fully functional,” Ariën said. “This case makes one think, in any event, of the other coronaviruses, whether SARS or MERS. There, too, we saw immunity drop quickly below a ‘critical threshold.’”
Research by Leuven university (KU Leuven) and the Belgian health institute Sciensano has revealed that young children can catch coronavirus just like adults, but they hardly suffer from it. “Children are indeed susceptible to coronavirus, even more than initially thought”, professor Corinne Vandermeulen told the VRT.
Researchers tested 362 children in 10 schools in the Limburg municipalities of Alken and Pelt. Alken had bad corona figures during the first wave in spring, while Pelt was at the other end of the spectre with a relatively low number.
The children – all of them were in primary education and the first 3 years of secondary education – were tested after the summer when blood and saliva samples were taken to check whether they had developed antibodies.
A total of 812 participants in the Belgian survey were infected with the Coronavirus at least two months ago, and 22.4% of them still showed symptoms, such as generalised fatigue, being out of breath, joint pains and difficulty concentrating
DW: Dr. Devos, how many people have CVID-19 at CHC Montlegia?
Devos: Around 250.
DW: And how many doctors are in there treating them?
Devos: More than 100. We have to do shifts, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
DW: And how many of those doctors have the coronavirus right now?
DEvos: We have around 10% of doctors and nurses that are symptomatic, and they’re at home, sick. At other hospitals in Liege, we have around 25% of doctors and nurses who are symptomatic. So we are lucky in my hospital compared to the other ones in the city. And for this reason, we are forced to use asymptomatic doctors and nurses in the COVID-19 wards.
DW: So you have doctors, right now, in hospitals here in Liege, who are working — even though they have the coronavirus?
Devos: Yes, they are infected, but not sick.