The number of coronavirus patients being treated in intensive care units in Belgian hospitals has dropped below the threshold of 600 for the first time in almost six weeks.
Between 22 and 28 December, an average of 135 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals per day, a 22% decrease since the last seven days, according to figures published by the Sciensano Public Health Institute on Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday, a total of 1,903 people were in hospitals due to an infection (56 fewer than on Monday), including 581 Covid-19 patients that were being treated in intensive care (-32), with 348 on a ventilator (-19).
The number of new cases is continuing to decrease. Between 19 and 25 December, an average of 6,199 new coronavirus infections were identified every day, down by 25% from the previous seven days. However, the new and more contagious Omicron variant is starting to have the upper hand in Belgium, which could result in cases rising again.
The number of tests taken in the same period also decreased, by 13% since last week, to 64,419. Meanwhile, the positivity rate has also dropped, now sitting at 11%.
During the same period, the number of people dying as a result of the virus also declined, by 11%, with an average of 33 Covid-19 patients dying per day. This brings the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in Belgium to 28,250.
The reproduction rate (Rt) has slightly increased to 0.84. This figure represents the average number of people that contract the virus from each infected person, and when it is lower than 1, it means that the epidemic is slowing down in Belgium.
The incidence, which indicates the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants sits at 881 over the past 14 days.
As of Monday, more than 8.79 million people are fully vaccinated, accounting for 88% of the adult population in Belgium, and 76% of the total population.
Meanwhile, almost 4.1 million people have received a booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine, representing 44% of over -18s and 36% of the entire population. The majority of adults should have had the opportunity to get a booster dose by March 2022.