A Belgian virologist explained the high mortality rate from COVID-19 in the country

Belgium’s comparatively high mortality rate due to the global pandemic of coronavirus COVID-19 is due to the Belgian nature of the statistics, said Emmanuelle André of the Coronavirus headquarters on Monday.


Belgium leads in the ratio of deaths associated with COVID-19 to the total population.

“The number of deaths in Belgium is the sum of confirmed cases in hospitals as well as deaths in nursing homes in the context of the epidemic”, – explained the Belgian virologist at the briefing.

According to him, the inclusion of unconfirmed coronavirus cases in the statistics along with confirmed ones gives the impression that Belgium faces a much higher number of deaths than other countries.

“Our monitoring system, which takes into account what is happening in nursing homes, is not used in a number of countries with which we are compared. But now we see that more and more countries are starting to adopt the Belgian model, because this model, even though it gives big numbers, is more accurate to solve the problem. When we don’t have the data, it’s much harder to act”, –  Andre said.

In addition, he noted that the COVID-19 epidemic started differently around the world. “In Belgium, there was a very intense and rapid start to the epidemic,” said the staff spokesman.

According to data as of Monday, 5828 deaths were recorded in Belgium, which the authorities associate with the coronavirus. However, 47% of patients died in hospitals where COVID-19 was confirmed by tests. In nursing homes, which account for 52% of deaths, only 4% of confirmed coronavirus cases have been reported. The rest were included in the lists due to suspicion of coronavirus, but no tests were conducted.

Nursing homes in Belgium, where about 150,000 people live, were closed to the public after the isolation measures were introduced. The authorities are currently conducting COVID-19 tests for all residents and nursing home staff.

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