The number of new coronavirus cases in Belgium is continuing to rise, and with it the number of Covid-19 patients who are hospitalised as a result of an infection.
Between 17 and 23 November, an average of 17,151 new coronavirus infections were identified every day, a 42% increase from the previous seven days, according to figures published by the Sciensano Public Health Institute on Saturday morning.
On Monday 22 November, a total of 25,536 infections was recorded, which is the highest figure across all coronavirus waves in Belgium.
The number of tests being taken increased dramatically by 32% (112,454.9), while during the last week, the highest number of tests taken in seven days since the start of the pandemic. The positivity rate has risen by 1.6% since last week, now sitting at 16%.
During the same period, an average of 37.1 people died per day from the virus, up by 20% from last week. This brings the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in Belgium to 26,840.
Between 20 and 26 November, an average of 305.7 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals per day, a 15% increase since the previous week.
On Friday, a total of 3,494 people were in hospitals due to an infection (25 more than on Thursday), including 682 patients being treated in intensive care (+13), with 381 on a ventilator (+16).
As a result of the worsening coronavirus situation in the country, Belgium's Consultative Committee met earlier than planned and announced a series of new measures, including the closure of nightclubs and imposing a closing time of 11:00 PM for the hospitality sector for a period of three weeks.
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The virus reproduction rate has slightly decreased to 1.11. 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 increased by 68% and now sits at 1,775.4 over the past 14 days.
As of Thursday, more than 8.8 million people in Belgium have received a first dose of the vaccine, representing 88% of the adult population, and 77% of the total population.
Meanwhile, more than 8.67 million people are fully vaccinated, accounting for 87% of the adult population in Belgium, and 75% of the total population.
Almost 1.4 million people have received a booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine, including people from certain vulnerable groups and healthcare workers, to keep the protection against the coronavirus sufficiently high. The general population will receive a booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine next year.