Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

Belgium: Coronavirus Hotspot

The death toll you’ve heard almost nothing about.


Yesterday, Reuters published a puff piece about breweries making home deliveries via bicycle in Brussels. By-the-by, this news story told us “More than 5,500 people are currently in Belgium’s hospitals with COVID-19, the disease casued [sic] by the virus.”

That was it. One sentence. No context whatsoever. It’s almost as if the intent was to distract from the immensely significant news out of Belgium yesterday: per capita, coronavirus deaths have now surpassed Italy.

This nation of 12 million people. This home to the European Commission, the European Council, the Council of the European Union, and the European Parliament. This singular concentration of regulators, bureaucrats, diplomats, activists, and politicized academics. IS A BLEEPING VIRUS HOTSPOT. Among the deadliest places in the world at the moment.

One way of assessing how a country is coping is the ‘deaths per million’ statistic. Out of every million residents, how many have died of the coronavirus (according to official numbers).

We know Italy has been hit extraordinarily hard. So has Spain. Earlier this month, Spain overtook Italy. Because thousands of people remain infected in both of those countries, the ‘deaths per million’ figure continues to change. As of noon yesterday, the official tally was

Spain: 386 deaths per million

Belgium: 359 deaths per million

Italy: 338 deaths per million

What’s happening in Belgium isn’t at all clear. Some countries include deaths that occur in nursing homes in their totals, others don’t. But here are other ‘deaths per million’ scores as of noon yesterday:

France: 229

UK: 167

Switzerland: 133

Sweden: 91

US: 71

Denmark: 49

Norway: 25

Canada: 21

The per capita death rate in Belgium is extraordinary.



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This entry was posted on April 15, 2020 by in health and tagged .
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