Increase in testing and positivity rate pushes up coronavirus infections

Increase in testing and positivity rate pushes up coronavirus infections
The Cabinet of Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke reveals that up to 400,000 Belgians may have been knowingly tested with potentially unsterilised nasal swabs. Credit: Belga

More people are getting tested for the coronavirus in Belgium, and of those people, more are testing positive, resulting in the number of new coronavirus infections increasing.

Between 2 and 9 October, an average of 2,095 new coronavirus infections were identified every day, a 10% increase from the previous seven days, according to the latest figures published by the Sciensano Public Health Institute on Wednesday morning.

The average number of tests taken has increased slightly to 44,469.1, while the positivity rate has also risen, now sitting at 5.1%, up by 0.4% since last week.

During the same period, an average of 9.6 people died per day from the virus, a 16% increase compared to last week. This brings the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in Belgium to 25,713.

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However, the number of hospitalisations continues to drop slightly, as between 6 and 12 October, on average 56.1 patients suffering from Covid-19  were admitted to hospitals per day, a 6% decrease since the previous week.

On Tuesday, a total of 767 people were in hospitals due to an infection (25 more than on Monday), including 200 patients being treated in intensive care (+2), with 111 on a ventilator (-5).

The virus reproduction rate sits at 0.98, a 6% decrease compared to last week’s average. This figure represents the average number of people infected by each infected person, and when it is below 1, it means that the epidemic is slowing down in Belgium.

The incidence, which indicates the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants, has decreased slightly and now sits at 242.8 over the past 14 days.

As of Monday, more than 8.63 million people in Belgium have received a first dose of the vaccine, representing 87% of the adult population, and 75% of the total population.

Meanwhile, more than 8.47 million people are fully vaccinated, accounting for 86% of the adult population in Belgium, and 73% of the total population.

Belgium has also started administering booster doses of coronavirus vaccines to people from certain vulnerable groups to keep the protection against the coronavirus sufficiently high. As of Monday, almost 286,000 people had received such a dose.

The Brussels Times

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