More than 2,000 Covid-19 hospitalisations, number in ICU continues to drop

More than 2,000 Covid-19 hospitalisations, number in ICU continues to drop
Credit: Belga

There are more than 2,000 Covid-19 patients in Belgian hospitals for the first time since Christmas, however, the situation in intensive care remains stable and is even showing signs of improvement.

Between 6 and 12 January, an average of 182 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals per day – up 7% on the seven days previous, according to figures published by the Sciensano Public Health Institute on Thursday morning.

For now, the increase in the number of new patients seems to be slowing down. On Wednesday, a total of 2,022 people were in Belgian hospitals due to an infection (27 more than on Tuesday), of whom 423 (-27) are being treated in intensive care and 247 are on a ventilator (-12).

As was expected, the number of new coronavirus infections being reported on a daily basis is also continuing its rapid increase. Between 3 and 9 January, an average of 22,189 new coronavirus infections were identified every day – up by 88% on the previous seven days.

Omicron continues to break records

Preliminary figures for Monday show that almost 37,000 cases were reported in one day. If confirmed, this would break the previous record set on Tuesday last week, when some 28,000 new infections were identified.

The average number of tests taken per day in the same period increased by 29% since last week, sitting at around 86,463.3. The positivity rate has also increased rapidly, with more than a quarter of all undertaken coronavirus tests (27.1%) now showing a positive result.

The weekly positivity rate is reaching similar levels seen during the very first wave in March 2020, and it is expected to break records on this front as well.

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Meanwhile, the decline in Covid-19 deaths continues, albeit more slowly. During the same period, an average of 18.9 Covid-19 patients died per day, down 20% since last week. Total deaths in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is 28,566.

The reproduction rate (Rt) has dropped to 1.04. 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 (the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants) has risen to 2,064 over the past 14 days.

As of Tuesday, more than 8.82 million people are fully vaccinated – 88% of Belgium’s adult population and 77% of the total population.

Meanwhile, almost 5.4 million people have received a booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine, representing 58% of over -18s and 47% 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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