October 20 coronavirus news

By Emma Reynolds, Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, October 21, 2020
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1:09 a.m. ET, October 20, 2020

Covid-19 situation in Brussels "close to a tsunami," Belgian health minister says 

From CNN’s Barbara Wojazer

A health worker takes a test sample at a coronavirus testing center in Charleroi, Belgium on October 14.
A health worker takes a test sample at a coronavirus testing center in Charleroi, Belgium on October 14. Nicholas Maeterlinck/BELGA MAG/AFP/Getty Images

The coronavirus situation in the Belgian region of Wallonia and the capital Brussels is “close to a tsunami,” the health minister said in a televised interview on Sunday. 

Frank Vandenbroucke warned “the health situation in Wallonia and in Brussels is the worst and the most dangerous in the whole of Europe.” 

Belgium is now on Johns Hopkins University’s list of 10 countries currently most affected by coronavirus. 

It has the third-highest number of Covid-related deaths per 100,000 people in the world, sitting behind San Marino and Peru, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Vandenbroucke called on all Belgians to protect themselves and their relatives, adding that the epidemic "is no one’s fault, but improving the situation is everyone’s duty." 

However, the health minister defended the government’s policy of installing a curfew from midnight, and not earlier in the evening, saying that the government “did not want to make life impossible."