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World still lacks resources to test coronavirus, says UN

The Belgian balance sheet for the past 24 hours: lhe Thursday, May 7, 591 new cases were reported. A total of 2,555 patients are currently hospitalized. 108 new hospitalizations have been recorded in the last 24 hours. 508 patients are in intensive care, a decrease of 34 patients in the last 24 hours. 8,521 deaths were reported in total, an increase of 107 deaths in one day.

► According to Pierre Van Damme, an epidemiologist from the University of Antwerp, 6% of Belgians have antibodies to the coronavirus. A first study, carried out by the University of Antwerp two weeks ago, showed that 3% of Belgians had antibodies, which indicates that the immune system is fighting the virus.

It is not recommended to meet four people from different households, virologist Steven Van Gucht said during the press conference of the Crisis Center and the FPS Public Health. “Preferably choose people from the same family,” he added.

► Between March 23 and April 30, 1,142 remote controls were carried out as for precautionary measures in companies and 986 of them (86.34%) required a displacement of the labor inspection services. The Labor Inspectorate will receive help from other social inspection services

The period of validity of meal vouchers, eco-vouchers, gift vouchers, culture or sport checks will be temporarily extended. A royal decree is to be approved on Saturday on this subject.

► After several disturbances, Bruxelles-Propreté is now able to restore all of its collection services, on the usual calendar.

► The gradual resumption of activity seems to translate into a slight increase in electricity consumption. However, this remains below consumption before the crisis, according to data from the manager of the high-voltage network Elia.

Ikea will reopen its eight stores in Belgium from Monday. Store visits are becoming possible again, the Swedish company also offers its Click & Collect service, which has been revised to meet health requirements. It is now a contactless collection formula in the shops parking lot. Home deliveries are still possible.

► Minister of Employment Nathalie Muylle (CD&V) announced that the system allowing temporary unemployment to artists had been strengthened. At the same time, the event sector can also appeal to temporary unemployment because of coronavirus, even without an employment contract for proof, she assured, answering questions from deputies in the House Social Affairs Committee.

► As part of the deconfinement strategy, serological tests will make it possible to assess whether group protection is being established in the population and to determine the number of people who have come into contact with the Sars-Cov-2 virus, said Yves Van Laethem, inter-federal spokesperson for the fight against the coronavirus, during the daily press briefing by the Crisis Center and the SFP Santé. These tests detect antibodies that appear as a result of an infection.

► On May 11, Panos will reopen 38 stores closed during containment. This decision mainly concerns shops established in shopping streets and in shopping centers. A second group of stores will reopen on May 18, notably in the country’s major train stations in Antwerp, Brussels and Ghent.

The Flemish government will intervene with traders who are no longer able to pay their professional rent. The regional authority undertakes to advance up to two months of rental if the owner of the premises agrees to cancel one or two months of rent.

The Brussels government has approved the allocation of 30 million euros for the 19 Brussels CPAS in order to cope with the socio-health consequences of the coronavirus crisis, Bernard Clerfayt (DéFI), Brussels Minister for Local Authorities and Alain Maron (Ecolo), Brussels Minister for Social Action, announced on Friday.

The Flemish government announced the names of members of a committee of experts charged with working on economic recovery in the region on Friday.

Many countries still don’t have enough equipment to quickly detect coronavirus, according to the UN, whose assistance has been requested by 200 laboratories in nearly 120 states since the start of the pandemic.

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