Rapid increase in new Covid-19 cases continues in Belgium

Rapid increase in new Covid-19 cases continues in Belgium
Pacheco test and vaccination centre in Brussels. Credit: The Brussels Times/ Lauren Walker

Following a short period of decline, the number of new coronavirus cases continues to rise at a rapid speed in Belgium as a result of the Omicron variant that is circulating.

Between 25 and 31 December, an average of 10,935.6 new coronavirus infections were identified every day, up by 69% from the previous seven days, according to figures published by the Sciensano Public Health Institute on Tuesday morning.

The average number of tests taken per day in the same period remains the same in comparison with last week, sitting at around 65,816.4. However, the positivity rate has once again increased, now sitting at 17.3%, up by 6.5%.

The decline in the number of deaths, meanwhile, continues, as during the same period, an average of 24 Covid-19 patients died per day, a 34% decrease since last week. This brings the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in Belgium to 28,385.

However, the rapid increase in infections is now being mirrored in the situation in hospitals. Between 28 December and 3 January, an average of 156 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals per day, a 15% rise since the last seven days.

On Monday, a total of 1,866 people were in hospitals due to an infection (102 more than on Sunday), including 520 Covid-19 patients that were being treated in intensive care (+12), with 296 on a ventilator (-4).

The risk of dying or being hospitalised if you are vaccinated is eight times lower than if you are not vaccinated, according to figures from Sciensano, based on the data from all hospitals for the second half of October.

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The reproduction rate (Rt) has shot up to 1.11. This figure represents the average number of people that contract the virus from 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 risen to 1,058.3 over the past 14 days after dropping to just over 850 last week.

As of Sunday, almost 8.8 million people are fully vaccinated, accounting for 88% of the adult population in Belgium, and 76% of the total population.

Meanwhile, almost 4.36 million people have received a booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine, representing 47% of over -18s and 38% of the entire population. The majority of adults should have had the opportunity to get a booster dose by March 2022.


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