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The moving average of new infections rose for the first time in weeks, with Van Ranst seeing two main reasons.

The official number of new corona infections reached 454 per day over the past week, a rise of 3 percent on the week. It’s the first time in weeks that we see the rolling average go up. Virologist Marc Van Ranst is not surprised and sees two explanations: “Holiday makers have come back from abroad and people are getting tired of the corona restrictions.”

The figures apply to the period from 27 August to 2 September. The health institute Sciensano is talking about 454 new infections per day on average, a rise of 3 percent on the week. Figures are going up across the country – though in most cases slightly – except for the cities of Antwerp and Brussels, but these still have the highest number of new cases.

In the meantime, the number of fatalities (3 per day, coming from 4) and hospitalisations (17 per day, coming from 15 the week before) remains relatively low, especially when compared to the first wave.

Virologist Marc Van Ranst is not surprised: “This was to be expected. We first had a solid drop, which then started to slow down, in order to flatten out.”

He sees two explanations: “The first is that many holiday makers have returned from abroad, hundreds of thousands, often from areas like France and Spain, where coronavirus is more widespread than here. This brings new cases to Belgium.”

The second explanation is that people are getting tired of the many corona restrictions, estimates Van Ranst.

“We have seen a lot of press reports saying that the measures are not good, and that they should be abolished. This has an impact for sure. Measures will not be followed as strict as they should be.”

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