Antwerp urges visitors to stay away after new spike in cases

Clients queue to enter a shop of Meir the main commercial street of Antwerp, Belgium. Authorities allowed non-essential shops to open their doors to clients as of 11 May. Belgium was implementing for last two months confinement for the public due to the ongoing pandemic of the Covid-19 disease. EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

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Lockdown restrictions were eased too quickly and now “severe measures” may be required to quell a second wave, according to the governor of Belgium’s worst-affected province.

Cathy Berx, who oversees Antwerp province, told Sky News that she could “understand the fear” of a return to a full lockdown, but said that the virus was now spreading so fast that she is asking people to stay away from Antwerp.

The latest figures produced by the Belgian government show the average number of daily infections increasing by 77% compared to the previous week.

Nearly 10,000 people have died of the disease, giving it one of the highest per-capital mortality rates in the world.

Antwerp has seen a rapid increase in cases over recent weeks, driving talk of a second wave across Belgium.

Around half of the recent cases of coronavirus recorded across the whole country have stemmed from this single province.

Antwerp has now introduced a night-time curfew as well as tight restrictions on social bubbles. In addition, Mrs Berx has asked residents to stay at home, and also work from home as much as possible.

Read more via Sky News

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