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A new increase in the number of new Covid infections: “This is the beginning of the new wave”

The number of corona infections (calculated on the week) has reached 115 per day, a 32 percent rise on the week. Experts are labelling this figure as “the beginning of a second wave” of the outbreak and will discuss whether new restrictions are necessary.

The average of daily infections between 7 and 13 July was at 115 new cases per day. This is one third up on the week, and last Monday we even saw a peak of 216. Virologist Marc Van Ranst and epidemiologist Pierre Van Damme are clear: the latest figures are absolutely “not good”.

Moreover, Monday’s 216 cases may be a bad sign. Yesterday, mayors sounded the alarm taking into account figures they collected themselves, taking soundings from their local GP’s. Today’s figures supplied by the scientific institute Sciensano may not even have taken these into account yet. ”

Just a reminder: on 15 March we had 214 new cases per day. On 17 March the lockdown started”, says Marc Van Ranst. “The only positive thing is that we are testing a lot more now: in March we probably discovered only 1 in 10 cases, now 1 in 3.”

The rise can be seen among different age categories and in all provinces. “Looking at these figures, you can say that a second wave has started”, says Van Ranst. Pierre Van Damme agrees: “The only thing we don’t know is what this second wave will be like.”

Marc Van Ranst adds: “This is a wake-up call for all of us. “Social distancing, mouth masks and limiting the number of contacts is crucial now. We know that not everybody is respecting these rules.”

Further relaxations are off the table now. Experts (and local authorities) underline that they want to know exactly where the infections are taking place. “We have no time to lose”, says Pierre Van Damme. If the figures continue to worsen, the next Security Coucil (next Thursday) may impose new restrictions.

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