The number of corona infections also continues to rise in Belgium, especially in the province of Liège. There they have the highest corona rates in Europe. In the city of Liège, the number of infections increased by an average of 200 per day.
The number of hospital admissions has also risen sharply. Two weeks ago there were still 140 people in hospital, now there are almost 643. This makes Liège the first province that now has more hospital admissions than in the peak in April when there were 639 people in Liège hospitals. Some hospitals are now full and yesterday a number of IC patients were already transferred to other hospitals in Belgium.
Since Monday, a curfew has been set in Liège, all catering establishments are closed and people work from home as much as possible. But the effect of these measures will only become visible after two weeks and the number of hospital admissions is expected to continue to rise in the meantime.
Infected at work
Coma doctor Steven Laureys from the university hospital in Liège calls it a “very difficult situation”. His hospital is full, the staff is exhausted and sometimes infected doctors and nurses go to work. “Yes, some of them have been tested positive, but we really can’t miss them. If you can come to work and you are not sick, we ask people if they come to work. That is not without risk for the patients”, says Laureys.
Isn’t it dangerous to run infected healthcare providers? It is indeed exceptional, says Laureys. “It is a war situation that requires exceptional measures. These are very difficult days here.”
Liège is now considering using the army to set up a field hospital in a former hospital.
It is especially the French-speaking part of Belgium where the virus is taking hold. According to correspondent Sander van Hoorn, this has to do with students. “In the summer there was not much going on here. But when the university reopened, a week earlier than the universities in Flanders, the students took infections with them to the city. Just as they now take them home again. on the weekends. Liège is a French-speaking city with French-speaking students who come from French-speaking cities and villages around it. So that’s why the spread kept to the language border for a long time. “
Liège is not far from the Limburg capital Maastricht. Nevertheless, chairman Annemarie Penn-te Strake, of the South Limburg Safety Region, is not yet concerned.
“It scares me for Liege, not so much for us,” she said in the morning NOS Radio 1 News. “We always supplement our national dashboard with data from Belgium and Germany. We see it increasing, but we see it increasing everywhere.” According to Penn, also mayor of Maastricht, border traffic between the two countries has also declined. “We now see far fewer Belgians in Maastricht and the reverse is also true.”
According to Penn, most traffic from the Netherlands also goes to Flemish Limburg, where Dutch is spoken, and not to the French-speaking province of Liège. She is not yet thinking of additional measures: “We are committed to the national measures, and you cannot just close the border just like that. It still depends on the common sense of people in Liège and here.”