Covid-19 patients in ICU drop below 700 for first time since November

Covid-19 patients in ICU drop below 700 for first time since November
Credit: Belga

The number of new coronavirus infections in Belgium continues to decline, with fewer than 700 Covid-19 patients in intensive care for the first time since November, according to the latest figures on Friday.

The number of Covid-19 patients in Belgian hospitals now totals 2,205, which is a 26% drop compared to a week earlier, according to the Sciensano national health institute.

In total, 660 patients are currently admitted to intensive care, which is 16% fewer than last week. For the first time since 27 November (when 696 people were in ICU), the number of patients dropped below 700 on Thursday.

Between 14 and 20 December, an average of 7,472 new infections were confirmed per day, which is a decrease of 36% compared to the previous week.

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This means that the number of confirmed cases continues to decline sharply. However, the percentage of Omicron infections is rising sharply but is currently still compensated by a strong decrease in the share of Delta infections.

The same trend is shown in the number of Covid-19 tests carried out: between 14 and 20 December, an average of 72,200 tests were taken per day, 18% fewer than the week before.

The positivity ratio (the percentage of positive tests) in that period was 12.1%, a decrease of 3.3%. This means that just over 12 out of every 100 tests were positive.

Between 13 and 19 December, the virus’ reproduction rate (Rt) was 0.77, meaning that on average, each person infected infects fewer than 1 other person and the virus is spreading less quickly.

The number of deaths also continues to decrease, as an average of 36 people died as a result of Covid-19 every day between 14 and 20 December, a 22% drop compared to the week before. In total, 28,110 Covid-deaths have been registered in Belgium so far.

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