The number of Covid-19 patients in hospital as well as the number of people ending up in intensive care is steadily rising in Belgium as new coronavirus cases continue to soar.
Between 28 October and 3 November, an average of 164 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals per day, a 31% increase since the previous week, according to the latest figures published by the Sciensano Public Health Institute on Thursday morning.
On Wednesday, a total of 1,858 people were in hospitals due to an infection (89 more than on Tuesday), including 343 patients being treated in intensive care (+6), with 163 on a ventilator (+9).
Between 25 and 31 October, an average of 7,758 new coronavirus infections were identified every day – a 37% increase from the previous seven days.
The number of tests being taken also increased by 25% (84,158.3), while the positivity rate has risen by 0.9% since last week, now sitting at 9.7% - the highest rate since April.
During the same period, an average of 20.4 people died per day from the virus, up 31% from last week. This brings the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in Belgium to 26,083.
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Although the level of infections has reached that of November, the number of Covid-19 hospitalisations and deaths as a result of an infection is much lower due to high vaccination coverage rates.
As of Tuesday, more than 8.71 million people in Belgium have received a first dose of the vaccine, representing 88% of the adult population, and 76% of the total population.
Meanwhile, more than 8.57 million people are fully vaccinated, accounting for 86% of the adult population in Belgium, and 74% 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 Tuesday, almost 636,000 people had received such a dose.
The virus reproduction rate meanwhile has slowly decreased to 1.18. This figure represents the average number of people infected by each infected person, and when it is above 1, it means that the epidemic is gaining ground in Belgium.
The incidence, which indicates the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants, has decreased slightly and now sits at 817.6 over the past 14 days, up by 150%.
The full set of figures weren't being updated earlier in the week due to the long holiday weekend, during which they aren't updated by the health institute.