Belgium's coronavirus death toll crosses 10,000

BRUSSELS: Belgium's official death toll from coronavirus infections crossed the 10,000 mark on Wednesday, according to data from the Sciensano health institute.

Belgium, home to the headquarters of the European Union and NATO, successfully slowed the spread of COVID-19 with a lockdown that was imposed in the spring, but it still had one of the world's highest fatality figures per capita from the virus.

Sciensano said the official number of dead stood at 10,001.

The country of 11 million people recorded, on average, 1,550 new infections per day over the past week, up from about 80 a day in early July.

Despite the rising numbers of infections, Belgium eased preventive measures last week, ending the requirement to wear masks outdoors and reducing the quarantine time for people with COVID-19 symptoms.