Increase in new Covid-19 infections starting to slow down

Increase in new Covid-19 infections starting to slow down
Credit: Belga

All major coronavirus indicators are continuing to increase in Belgium, however, they are rising at a slower pace for the first time in weeks.

Between 22 and 28 November, an average of 17,917 new coronavirus infections were identified every day, an 11% increase from the previous seven days, according to figures published by the Sciensano Public Health Institute on Thursday morning.

The number of tests taken increased by 11% to 119,560.6 since last week when the highest number of tests taken in one week was recorded since the start of the pandemic in Belgium. The positivity rate has risen by 0.5% since last week, now sitting at 16.2%.

During the same period, an average of 42.4 people died per day from the virus, up by 13% from last week. This brings the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in Belgium to 27,072.

Between 25 November and 1 December, an average of 321.9 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals per day, a 9% increase since the previous week.

On Wednesday, a total of 3,736 people were in hospitals due to an infection (14 fewer than on Tuesday), including 792 patients being treated in intensive care (+12), with 402 on a ventilator (the same as on Tuesday).

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If the current slowdown in new coronavirus infections continues, it will be possible to ensure the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care will remain below 1,000, according to virologist Steven Van Gucht.

The virus reproduction rate has slightly decreased to 1.06, the lowest it has been in almost two months. 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 81% and now sits at 2,067.9 over the past 14 days.

As of Tuesday, more than 8.83 million people in Belgium have received a first dose of the vaccine, representing 89% of the adult population, and 77% of the total population.

Meanwhile, more than 8.69 million people are fully vaccinated, accounting for 87% of the adult population in Belgium, and 75% of the total population.

Almost 1.69 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 majority of adults should have had the opportunity to get a booster dose by March 2022.

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