Belgium now has highest recorded Covid-19 death rate

Belgium hasn’t been mentioned much here, but they now have the highest number of deaths per head of population as per Worldometer but this may be due to differences in how countries report deaths.  They have a total of 4,857 deaths, which is 419 deaths per million of population, just ahead of Spain (409) and Italy (367).

About half of the deaths in Belgium are in aged care facilities.

Belgium is in Western Europe between France and the Netherlands, both also with high death rates.

The Brussels Times: Belgium extends lockdown until 3 May

Belgium will extend its lockdown deadline until 3 May in the fight against the new coronavirus (Covid-19), announced Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès during a press conference on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Group of Experts for an Exit Strategy (GEES), which has to ease the country out of the lockdown, handed over its first report to the government. Following that report, and a meeting with Belgium’s National Security Council, joined by the country regions’ Minister-Presidents, Wilmès announced Belgium’s new shutdown deadline, and clarified several other measures.

-The lockdown measures will be extended until 3 May.

-Garden centres and do-it-yourself stores are allowed to reopen, under the same conditions of social distancing as ordinary food stores.

-Residents of residential care centres may receive one visitor, designated in advance, provided that this person has had no symptoms of illness in the last 2 weeks, and that each time this person is the same.

-There will be no mass events, such as summer festivals, until at least 31 August.

Reuters: Mass COVID-19 testing underway at stricken Belgian care homes

Belgium has begun testing more than 210,000 residents and staff at nursing homes, which now account for about half of the coronavirus-related deaths in the country.

Belgium is one of only a few countries in Europe that includes all non-hospitalised people who displayed symptoms of the disease in its daily tally of COVID-19 deaths, even if they had not been confirmed as having had it.

So that may be one reason why their death rate is higher than other countries.

The Brussels Times: Explaining Belgium’s rising infections

The total number reflects all people in Belgium who have been confirmed infected by the virus at some point. Importantly, this includes active cases as well as patients who have since recovered, or died from the consequences of the virus.

This means that the count also includes the first infected Belgian person, who was repatriated from Wuhan at the start of February, and was released from quarantine and considered recovered before the current outbreak even started in Belgium.

Since 15 March, which is when hospitals started regularly reporting their patients and deaths using a uniform system, 7,526 have been discharged and are considered recovered. Additionally, 4,857 deaths have been recorded, according to the FPS Public Health’s figures.

This would bring the number of active confirmed cases in the country at the moment to 22,426. However, not all people with a confirmed infection are admitted to the hospital, and can thus not be included in the “discharged” statistics when they have recovered, leaving the total count of all active cases unclear.

Additionally, not everyone is being tested, and experts have warned that the total number of actual cases is far bigger than the number of confirmed ones. “It is possible that the actual number is ten times higher,” said virologist Marc Van Ranst to VTM News. “This number only shows how many people tested positive,” he added.

Al case totals will obviously be lower than actual cases due to untested and undetected cases.

The population of Belgium is 11.5 million, a bit more than twice the population of New Zealand where we have so far had just 9 deaths. If we had a similar death rate per million that would put us somewhere around 2,000 deaths – which is what we could have had without taking drastic action when we did. Most of our 9 deaths have been patients in rest homes. Old sick people are particularly vulnerable.

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21 Comments

  1. Pink David

     /  17th April 2020

    US unemployed is now at 22m. This has gone from 4% to 15% in 3 weeks. Hawaii has 22% unemployment.
    In more records;
    Manufacturing has fallen more than any time since WW2
    House building has fallen at a rate not seen for 40 years.
    How many more records will tumble in the next week?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/16/unemployment-claims-coronavirus/

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  17th April 2020

      Tourists would have stayed away in hawaii regardless of what they did in local lockdowns

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  17th April 2020

        “Tourists would have stayed away in hawaii regardless of what they did in local lockdowns”

        Yeah, it was fucked already, so no harm in fucking it some more.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  17th April 2020

          90% of the economy would be tourism, so a pointless mentioning unemployment as from the local lockdown…but you love throwing numbers around that mean nothing

          Reply
          • Pink David

             /  17th April 2020

            “90% of the economy would be tourism, so a pointless”

            21% of the economy.

            “but you love throwing numbers around that mean nothing”

            Yes, 22 million unemployed means nothing.

            Reply
          • Duker

             /  17th April 2020

            9 dead in hawaii , pro rata that would be over 30 here.
            Comparing the big and small countries numbers has perils, not so much for smaller countries together.
            Hawaii tourism seems to exclude ‘service sector’, probably tourism is their biggest revenue raiser too and military under 10%
            yep service sector is hotel, restaurants, car rentals
            I think there is a ‘tourism tax’ so business goes out of their way not to label what they do …like rental cars,restaurants out of hotels as unrelated to tourism

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  17th April 2020

              Looking at direct Tourism employment in Hawaii it seems it was 216,000 out 668,000.
              Indirect jobs from the tourist industry could be 50-60% again with a multiplier effect

    • Blazer

       /  17th April 2020

      and the S&P 500 had its biggest one day gain since….1938!!!!

      Reply
  2. Belgium is very crowded, which may well make it more vulnerable. The houses tend to be very close; ours was a terrace house and opened onto the pavement like almost all the houses in town; it was hard to avoid being near other people. Not to mention the fact that the body space was much smaller than ours.These things won’t have changed.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  17th April 2020

      I wonder if there is a noticeable difference between the catholic and protestant areas ( outside Brussels). Religious practice , even if not a large proportion, seems to have made the spread easier and maybe the driver for the Italian and Spainish disasters
      It seems to have occurred in Israel too in the orthodox areas, a lot of Israelis are secular jews.

      Reply
      • I don’t think that religion makes much difference when there are 377 people per sq km. The streets are crowded and so is public transport.I found the markets quite claustrophobic.

        I only went to Eastern Orthodox church services so can’t speak for the others.

        Reply
    • It’s true, PDTs, they have 377 people per sq km as opposed to our 18. Look it up if you don’t believe me. It’s also true about the ‘body space’. People stand closer together than they do here, which is disconcerting for a Kiwi.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  17th April 2020

        did you have to look that up?
        I didn’t notice that post having any ticks at all.Are you getting..ahead of..yourself?

        Reply
        • Of course I looked it up to get the the exact number, it’s not something one memorises, but I knew that it was many times ours. I don’t why you are sneering about no ticks when there are two downticks on the first one, except that you seem to sneer at any post made by me as a matter of course.

          I lived in Belgium; I know what it’s like.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  17th April 2020

            Im the same , I look things up that I sort of knew already …saves having blooppers

            Reply

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