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Belgium is facing the second wave.

Image Credit: Aris Oikonomou/EFE via EPA

A virologist said that Belgium is facing the second wave, after a steady daily increase of new infections.

The average number of infections daily was 100 last week, between 7-13th July, an increase of 32%, compared to the week before, where the average number of cases was 86.9.

Marc Van Ranst said to the Belgian station VRT radio, that the steady increase in new cases is ‘a wake-up call’.

The Brussels Times reported that the R number (reproduction number) is now 1.033, which means an infected person will in general infect another person. The R number should be less than 1 for the virus to be under control.

Mr. Ranst said that, ‘It has been months since we had so many new infections.’

‘The average will certainly continue to rise in the coming days. I think we should be concerned about this. This is an absolute wake-up call.’

He concluded, ‘This is not one hotspot, there are several of them. With these numbers you have to say that you are at the beginning of a second wave.’

He reiterated the importance of social distancing and face masks. It is an effective way to control the spread of the virus.

Pierre Van Damme, a Belgian Epidemiologist, said that Belgium is not prepared for a second wave, due to a lack of contact tracing, and a lack of communication.

Mr. Van Damme also talked about closure of some sectors, ‘Certain sectors will have to understand that they may have to close for a year. We are afraid to say that. It is harsh. But they need to know that, from the beginning. And those sectors will have to be supported.’

He also talked about the second wave and the importance to prepare for it,’I am afraid that we will be in the second wave (by end of August) then, with exponential consequences.’

He added,’ We are losing alot of time at the moment. The virus is reorganizing and spreading very efficiently. It is doing the opposite of what we are doing.’

As of today Belgium’s total number of cases is 63,328 with 9,795 deaths.

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