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Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. Photo: THIERRY ROGE/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Belgium is enforcing a strict lockdown starting Sunday amid rising coronavirus infections, hospital admissions and a surge of deaths, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced on Friday.

Why it matters: De Croo said the government saw no choice but to lock down "to ensure that our health care system does not collapse." Scientists and health officials said deaths have doubled every six days, per the Guardian.

Details: De Croo added that these measures are Belgium's "last chance" and said they will remain in place through at least Dec. 13, but will be evaluated on Dec. 1, according to the Brussels Times.

  • Non-essential and non-medical businesses — such as hair salons, bars and restaurants — will close.
  • Indoor gatherings are no longer permitted and outdoor gatherings will be limited to four people.
  • Schools are to remain closed until mid-November.

The big picture: Belgium has seen over 392,000 cases and more than 11,000 deaths since the pandemic got underway, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

  • This is Belgium's second lockdown of the pandemic, after the country first shut down in March, according to Politico.

What they're saying: "If the figures continue to rise at this rate, it is simple: there will come a time when the doors of our intensive care will close,” Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke said.

Worth noting: Belgium is the third European country to impose lockdown measures this week.

Go deeper: A new round of coronavirus shutdowns hits the U.S. and Europe

Go deeper

The biggest pandemic labor market drags

Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

State economies most exposed to industries that have been slow to bounce back from the pandemic shutdown — like tourism — are seeing the worst labor market pain.

Why it matters: Even states that have the coronavirus more under control than others are taking harder economic hits, thanks to their dependence on sectors slammed by the pandemic.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key information about the effective COVID-19 vaccines — Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine won't just go to rich countries.
  2. Health: U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations keep breaking recordsWhy we're numb to 250,000 deaths.
  3. World: England to impose stricter regional systemU.S. hotspots far outpacing Europe's — Portugal to ban domestic travel for national holidays.
  4. Economy: The biggest pandemic labor market drags.
  5. Sports: Coronavirus precautions leave college basketball schedule in flux.
Updated 18 hours ago - World

Oxford University says its coronavirus vaccine is up to 90% effective

A scientist working during at the Oxford Vaccine Group's laboratory facility at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, England, in June. Photo: Steve Parsons/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The University of Oxford announced Monday that a COVID-19 vaccine it's developed with AstraZeneca is 70.4% effective in preventing people from developing symptoms, per interim data from Phase 3 trials.

Why it matters: The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is shown to work in different age groups and can be stored at fridge temperature. It is much cheaper than other vaccines in development and is part of the global COVAX initiative, designed to ensure doses go where they're most needed.