After a long period of stability, Covid-19 cases in Belgium are picking up again, figures published by the Sciensano Institute of Public Health on Tuesday showed.
An average of 76.6 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals each day, up 22% since last week. This figure only includes the number of people hospitalised because of the virus.
The total number of people infected with the virus in Belgian hospitals has risen to 1,120 – around 170 more than Friday last week. The number of patients being treated in intensive care has also rapidly increased for the first time in months, from 48 to 60.
This figure includes people who were admitted for another reason and later contracted the virus.
Cases, tests and vaccination
Between 26 November and 2 December, the average number of new Covid-19 infections recorded per day increased by 23% to 1,152, almost double the figure recorded three weeks ago.
The average number of tests taken per day has also risen to about 7,400 per day, while the positivity rate increased to 16.6%, meaning almost one in seven tests has a positive result.
However, in the same week, the average number of deaths from Covid-19 infections per day decreased from 4 to 2.9 (-23%). The total number of deaths in Belgium since the start of the pandemic is 33,086; however, this includes people who died of another cause but who were infected, meaning it is an overestimate of Covid-19 deaths.
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The reproduction rate has decreased to 1.12 from 1.22 last Friday. When this figure is higher than 1, it means that the epidemic is growing. The incidence (the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants) has slightly increased to 126 from 104 last week.
As of Saturday, more than 7.22 million people received a first booster dose of the vaccine, representing 76% of over-18s and 62% of the entire population, while more than 3.8 million people also received a second booster dose, equivalent to 41% of over-18s and 33% of the total population.