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Belgium’s coronavirus death toll tops 6,000

In the past 24 hours, 933 new coronavirus infections were identified, bringing the total to 41,889

BRUSSELS, April 22. /TASS/. The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Belgium increased by 266 in the past 24 hours to reach 6,262, the national health ministry said Wednesday.

This number is almost 100 death more than in two previous days when the agency was expressing hope that the death peak had been passed in the country.

In the past 24 hours, 933 new coronavirus infections were identified, bringing the total to 41,889. Today’s figures are almost identical to the ones reported yesterday. However, the health ministry warned that the real infection number is likely to be higher since Belgium is only testing people with clear and serious COVID-19 symptoms due to lack of tests.

Belgium has been placed under a strict nationwide lockdown since March 14. It was initially planned to be in effect only until April 5, but on March 27 the authorities decided to extend it until April 19 and later until May 3. All educational, cultural and social facilities are shut down, students and schoolkids are practicing distance learning, all mass events are banned irrespective of the number of participants. All private companies are recommended to tell their employees to work from home, working hours of government agencies are cut down, while only emergency services operate without any changes.

Belgium also shut down its borders and banned any trips around the country, residents are only allowed to travel within their district of residence. Citizens are obliged to practice social distancing in transport and shops.

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe.

According to the latest statistics, over 2,500,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 177,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 696,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.