Experts still not reassured by the latest figures: “It may seem strange, but it would be better for contamination to increase”

Experts still not reassured by the latest figures: “It may seem strange, but it would be better for contamination to increase”
Experts still not reassured by the latest figures: “It may seem strange, but it would be better for contamination to increase”

The latest figures for the coronavirus in Belgium show that new contaminations have been declining for several days. As of Thursday, the seven-day average number of new cases fell 12%. Between March 29 and April 4, 4,244 new infections were detected on average every day. Enough to say that the hardest part is behind us? Not quite.
For Steven Van Gucht, the figures are currently difficult to interpret. “The decrease in contamination is obviously a good thing,” the virologist told HLN. “But this is also due to the fact that we test a lot less. Mainly children and adolescents, because of the closure of schools. But also in other age groups, probably because of the holidays.”

The positivity rate must go down

It is mainly the positivity rate that catches the eyes of experts. It has indeed risen to 8.1% according to the latest data published by Sciensano, while it has been around 7% for several days. “This means that basically, the circulation of the virus remains important”, continues Van Gucht.

This concern is also shared by Geert Molenberghs. “I know that it may seem strange but it would be better if we had the opposite: a number of contaminations which increases, and a rate of positivity which decreases”, analyzed the biostatistician of the KUL with the Nieuwsblad. “Because that would mean that the virus is circulating less and that we are on the right track.”

And the two experts to warn that the figures in hospitals are still very worrying. 332 people have been admitted to hospital in the past 24 hours, which we had not seen since the second wave. And 908 patients are currently in intensive care.

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