Coronavirus: Yves Van Laethem warns of a possible fourth wave

The infectious disease specialist and interfederal spokesperson calls for the greatest caution.

Lhe spokespersons for the Crisis Center, Steven Van Gucht and Yves Van Laethem, warn. With the measures easing in September and the start of the school year starting again, it is possible that Belgium will have to face a fourth covid wave in the fall. The severity of this wave will depend on our behavior and the number of risky contacts each of us will have, they warn.

Brussels will be more impacted than Wallonia or Flanders if there is a fourth wave, predict the mathematical models. The spokespersons recommend to respect the barrier gestures, to wear the mask and to ventilate the premises well.

“We are in the final phase of the Covid-19 epidemic, but it is not over,” recalled Tuesday, on the eve of the start of the school year, the infectious disease specialist and Covid-19 interfederal spokesperson Yves Van Laethem , during a press briefing by the Sciensano Public Health Institute and the Crisis Center.

Stabilization of contamination

Between August 21 and August 27, 2,012 new infections were diagnosed on average each day (+ 3%). “There is a stabilization of new contaminations, but they remain the most numerous in children and young adults”, explains Yves Van Laethem, who warns against “an increased risk of contamination on school benches” .

For Belgium, the average positivity rate is 5.6%. In children under 10, it prances at 11.3%. In the 20-39 age group, the positivity rate is 6%.

Between 24 and 30 August, some 60 people were admitted on average each day to the hospital, a figure also stable, but which hides significant disparities between the regions.

In total, 674 people are hospitalized due to a Covid-19 infection (+ 3%), including 200 in intensive care (+ 16%).

A quarter of new hospitalizations in Brussels

“The Brussels Region concentrates a quarter of new hospitalizations and a third of patients hospitalized in intensive care,” explains Yves Van Laethem. “This situation reflects the lower vaccination rate in the Brussels Region,” he adds.

While nearly 90% of adults are fully vaccinated in Flanders and 78% in Wallonia, only 61% of Brussels residents over the age of 18 have received two injections of the coronavirus vaccine.

Between August 21 and August 27, 5.6 people died on average each day as a result of Covid-19, an increase of 15% compared to the average established over the previous seven days. “This figure remains relatively small. In nine out of ten cases, these are people over the age of 75, very few of whom come from nursing homes, ”continues Yves Van Laethem.

A re-entry under close surveillance

Asked how the epidemic will evolve in the coming weeks, the infectious disease specialist warns against an increase in contamination and hospitalizations in parallel with the start of the school year.

“A new wave is still possible in the fall, but will depend on the evolution of vaccination and the behavior of all of us,” he concludes. Outdoor activities, ventilation of the premises and wearing a mask are still recommended, as is the limitation of social contact.

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