COVID-19: Belgium’s virus death toll tops 4,000

The number of newly confirmed coronavirus deaths in Belgium over the past 24 hours has reached 262, taking the total to 4,157, the national health ministry said Tuesday.

The number of new coronavirus cases recorded over the past 24 hours stands as low as 530, the lowest figures in the past few weeks. The total number of infections reached 31,119.

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 with possible extension 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.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 2,000,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 119,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 453,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

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