Tuesday, February 20

Belgium

Omicron is Dominant Virus Variant in Belgium
Belgium, Europe, News

Omicron is Dominant Virus Variant in Belgium

Omicron is now the dominant variant of the coronavirus in Belgium. Clinical biologist Emmanuel André of the Catholic University of Leuven reports that omicron accounts for 60 percent of the infections in the country, compared to only 41 percent before the weekend.   André expects that the number of infections will increase considerably due to the rapid advance of omicron. However, according to him, the impact will remain somewhat limited with many booster vaccinations and due to the possibly less serious disease course in omicron. Still, André also warns of a high workload in health care. Preliminary research results suggest that omicron is more contagious than other variants of the coronavirus but less likely to lead to hospitalizations. Further research should show how dangerous ...
Indian Corona Variant is Circulating in Belgium
Belgium, India, News

Indian Corona Variant is Circulating in Belgium

The more contagious Indian variant of the coronavirus has claimed a life in a nursing home in Belgium and is also spreading elsewhere in the country.   The mutant is probably more widespread than expected, says Belgian virologist Johan Neyts. The new variant, which is rife in India, is more contagious and possibly less sensitive to the corona vaccines that are in circulation. The mutant turned up in recent days in a nursing home in Borsbeek near Antwerp, while all residents there had already been vaccinated. One of the residents succumbed. Samples brought to light another nineteen cases of the Indian variant on Sunday evening, Neyts says on the Belgian news channel Radio 1. "We can link half of them to trips to India, the other half not. That means that the variant is circulating...
Belgium Wants to be Stricter for Travellers After the India Variant Outbreak
Belgium, Europe, News

Belgium Wants to be Stricter for Travellers After the India Variant Outbreak

Belgium wants to tighten the rules for travellers coming from high-risk areas such as the Netherlands. The seven-day quarantine they have to serve must become stricter.   For example, the federal government wants to prevent the Indian variant of the coronavirus or other dangerous mutants that have come along from being spread. At the moment, people in quarantine are still allowed to leave the house for essential shopping or a visit to the pharmacy or doctor. But Minister Annelies Verlinden (Home Affairs) would instead get rid of that, she said on the Belgian news channel Radio 1. Verlinden is catching on to an outbreak of the Indian corona variant in Belgium. Twenty nursing students from India were found to be infected upon arrival in Belgium. According to experts, they seem to ha...
Belgium Continues to Be Locked Again and Takes Easter Break
Belgium, Europe, News

Belgium Continues to Be Locked Again and Takes Easter Break

Belgium will continue to be locked up again now that the number of hospital admissions in particular and infections with the coronavirus continues to rise.   The non-essential stores may only open by appointment, and the vast stores for a maximum of fifty people at a time. The contact professions such as hairdressers have to close again for the time being for four weeks. Primary and secondary education will go on Easter holidays a week earlier, starting Monday, the Consultation Committee of the six governments has decided after an emergency meeting. According to Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, a "short period of pain, an Easter break" has been chosen in the hope of reducing the flare-up. Closure of schools was a hot topic. But with the Easter holidays approaching, it was decide...
Hundreds of Police Raid Belgium After Cracking SMS Service Underworld
Belgium, Europe, News

Hundreds of Police Raid Belgium After Cracking SMS Service Underworld

The Belgian police searched more than two hundred houses and other buildings early on Tuesday, especially in Antwerp.   The police have cracked a communications service of the underworld, Belgian media report. That would have put the police on the trail of drug traffickers and people who facilitate their practices, such as tipsters and money launderers. Last year, the police managed to access the encrypted messaging service Sky ECC, writes De Morgen, among others. It is very popular with criminals because they believe they can communicate with it without prying eyes. Agents have raided, among other things, the company behind the communication service and sellers of the app and suitable telephones, insiders told De Morgen. House searches were also allegedly carried out at three law...
Belgium Holds AstraZeneca Vaccines for Up to Two Weeks
Belgium, Europe, News

Belgium Holds AstraZeneca Vaccines for Up to Two Weeks

Belgium keeps the corona vaccines from AstraZeneca it receives on the shelf for up to two weeks.   Due to the vaccine manufacturer's unpredictability, the Belgian authorities dare not invite people until the vaccines are in and time is lost. Belgium previously decided to distribute and use vaccines as quickly as possible. Because AstraZeneca has reported setback after setback in recent weeks, according to the European Commission, it is also not clear about the planning and how the company intends to realize it. Belgium has come back from that. "We have built-in a certain caution," says project leader of the vaccination campaign Dirk Ramaekers on the Belgian news channel Radio 1. The European Union countries have only administered a fifth of the vaccines received from AstraZeneca...
Number of Corona Deaths Belgium Rises for the First Time in Months
Belgium, Europe, News

Number of Corona Deaths Belgium Rises for the First Time in Months

For the first time since the beginning of November, more Belgians have succumbed to the coronavirus.   The number of people who bond the virus, end up in the hospital or even end up in intensive care, has been increasing for some time. Virologists have been warning for weeks that Belgium must brace itself for an inevitable third wave of infections. Since Belgium was almost overwhelmed by a second corona wave in October and then intervened hard, the virus has been on its way for a long time. But from the Christmas holidays, it will gain momentum again, and it is even threatening to take off, for example by the new British variant. Sick Belgians each infect more than one other person on average, which keeps the epidemic growing. The reproduction number that measures that now stand...
The Second Wave of the Coronavirus is Less Deadly in Belgium Than the First
Belgium, Europe, News

The Second Wave of the Coronavirus is Less Deadly in Belgium Than the First

The second wave of the coronavirus is less deadly in Belgium than the first. There are also fewer deaths in nursing homes, he said during a press conference of the crisis centre.   "This second wave again claimed many human lives, but fortunately seems less deadly than the first wave for the time being", says Van Gucht. With the first wave, he refers to the period from March 10 to June 21. The figures for the second wave run from June 22 to November 17. "We can roughly say that in the first wave there was one death for every two hospital admissions and in the second wave one death for every four hospital admissions," said Van Gucht. Because many deaths occur in residential care centres, this does not mean that the chance of death for seriously ill patients was one in two or now is...
Belgian Wind Farm Eneco Gets A Green Light From Europe
Belgium, Business, France, Germany, Netherland, News, UK

Belgian Wind Farm Eneco Gets A Green Light From Europe

Belgian Wind farm Eneco gets a Green Light from Europe. The European Commission approves the intended cooperation in two offshore wind farms in the Belgian North Sea of the Dutch energy supplier Eneco, the Belgian energy group Otary and Electrabel of the French Engine.   The new joint venture for the projects with the names Seastar and Mermaid does not pose any problems with EU competition law, according to Brussels, reports Press Cube. The Belgian company Otary is active in the development, construction and management of wind projects at sea. Until now, the wind farm project was in the hands of Otary and Electrabel. Mermaid and Seastar are two of the last offshore wind farms that will be built in the zone that the government has allocated for the Belgian coast. Seastar and Merma...