Belgium Faces Pivotal Week As Virus Weighs On Hospitals

A woman, wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, walks along Cinquantenaire park in an autumn day in Brussels, Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo stopped short Friday of imposing another full lockdown, as the country did in March, but introduced a series of new restrictive measures as the number of COVID-19 related hospital admissions and deaths continue to soar. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

(AP) — Belgian authorities say the country faces a pivotal week in its struggle to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Almost 12,500 new cases are being reported on average every day, compared to around 5,000 a day two weeks ago. About one person in every five who is tested is positive. New restrictions in one of the European countries hardest hit by the pandemic are entering force Monday, but they could be beefed up further in coming days. People are being ordered to work from home, mask wearing outdoors is mandatory again in the capital Brussels, and next week’s school vacation has been extended. Officials warn that Belgium’s intensive care capacity could be reached in two weeks if things don’t improve.


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