In one week, from 15 to 21 September, an average of 1,476 infections was counted daily, an increase of 48 percent compared to the previous week. “The figures are on an upward trend, but are less bright than a few days ago. There is now a doubling of the number of cases every 12 days, which was just 7 or 8 days a few days ago, ”says Van Gucht. There were 2,000 new cases last Wednesday and last Monday.
Half of all infections occur in people under the age of 33. Van Gucht therefore asks, especially the students, not to take any risks and to stay away from the elderly.
“We also see a worrying evolution among the 70+ people, where the number of infections has also doubled.”
The number of hospital admissions continues to rise, faster than the number of infections. 84 people were admitted yesterday, a record since May. 602 people have now been admitted to hospitals with corona, an increase of 9 percent. 104 of them are in intensive care (+ 9 percent).
The crisis center also wants to clarify the new quarantine rules. If you have been close to an infected person, you may be infected too. In half of the people, symptoms appear after 5 to 7 days. It is during that incubation period without symptoms that you can infect others.
From October 1, there is only a mandatory quarantine of 7 days instead of 14 days, as in neighboring countries.
If anyone symptoms should stay at home and call the doctor. He decides whether a test is needed. There is nothing wrong with a negative test. If the test is positive, then a 7-day isolation starts: stay away from your housemates. You must also be symptom-free for three days before you can get out of isolation.
People from red zone or high-risk contacts (more than 15 minutes, close to infected person, also housemates are high risk) must be put in preventive quarantine.
As soon as someone gets the news that they have been in contact with an infected person, they must be quarantined, which counts from the last contact with the infected person. You can take a test after five days at the earliest. If it is negative, you can leave the quarantine. The week after quarantine, the person should also be attentive to symptoms. Meanwhile, keep your distance from vulnerable people and wear a face mask. If the person does develop symptoms, stay home.
This only applies to people who have had high-risk contacts, not to their housemates.
Travelers who return from the red zone: if the self-assessment test says that you have not taken any risks, you do not need to be quarantined. People from the orange zone are no longer tested or are no longer quarantined.
“It is crucial to do a test after the quarantine,” emphasizes Steven Van Gucht. “Research shows that even after 7 days, 50 percent of people can still develop the disease. With a test we can also identify those people as well as possible. ” His French-speaking colleague Yves Van Laethem was more critical. “A 7-day quarantine is not enough, I’m not going to lie. Many people also get symptoms after 7 days. That is why you have to be tested at the end of the quarantine. ”
Less strict rules apply to children under the age of 12. “Children are not the main propagator. It is important that children can go to school, ”says the crisis center.
For children under the age of six, respiratory infections are often harmless and there is a small risk of covid. Therefore, children under 6 are usually not tested. If the teacher or educator is ill, it must be tested. In principle, all children in that class must be quarantined.
If a primary school child (6-12 years) turns out to be infected, the other children are a low-risk contact and do not need to be quarantined. Even if the teacher is infected, the children do not have to be quarantined. Because it is assumed that sufficient distance can be kept in primary school.
For children older than 12 years, the same rules apply as for adults.