Belgium has announced a new general confinement in the territory, as the infection rate in the country continues to increase at an accelerated rate, reflecting the highest rate in Europe, reveals the BBC.
Non-essential and personal services businesses, such as hairdressers, closed the spaces until mid-December, showing the seriousness of the situation in Belgium. Gatherings in public spaces are limited to four people and supermarkets are only allowed to sell essential goods, while houses should only receive one visitor.
Unlike other European countries that keep schools open, Belgium has decided to extend the autumn break until November 15, promising an assessment later in order to ensure the safety of children. The mandatory curfew imposed in early October, between midnight and five in the morning, will continue, as will the restriction measures for restaurants and bars.
On the 19th of October, the Belgian Minister of Health revealed that a “tsunami” of new infections was coming in the territory, with the outbreak of infections confirmed as Belgium confirms one of the highest infection rates, after suffering one of the highest mortality rates in the world in the first wave.
Belgium currently has more than half of the 19 beds in intensive care units occupied with patients infected with Covid-XNUMX. On Friday, Prime Minister Alexander de Croo admitted that the country "is in a health emergency situation".
"The pressure in hospitals is enormous," he said, while announcing the containment measures. "These are the last chance measures, in case we want to lower the numbers", underlined the Prime Minister, while the Minister of Health said that the new confinement will not lead citizens to plunge into isolation. "It is a blockade, but a confinement that allows factories to continue to operate, which will allow schools to open cautiously," he said.
According to the prime minister, these measures will be in force during the next six weeks, when a new assessment will be made, and the extent of the restrictions "will only depend on the citizens", he said at a press conference.
In the last 14 days, Belgium has recorded 1.600 infections and 8,4 deaths per 100 inhabitants, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. The death rate in Belgium is second only to the Czech Republic in Europe.