The number of new coronavirus infections has dropped below 6,400 on a daily basis, as the overall epidemiological situation in Belgium continues to improve ahead of the next Consultative Committee.
Between 21 and 27 February, an average of 6,388 new coronavirus infections were identified every day – the lowest number since the end of December and a 29% decrease on the previous seven days, according to the figures published by the Sciensano Public Health Institute on Thursday morning.
The Omicron variant currently accounts for 59.3% of all cases in Belgium, down by 11% since last week, while the Omicron BA.2 variant is accounting for 33%. Slightly more than 7% of all cases are with the Delta variant.
The average number of PCR tests taken per day in the same period declined by 13% to 37,653.1 The positivity rate now sits at 19.3%, meaning fewer than one in five tests have a positive result.
- Belgium's Corona Commission to stop working next month
- Belgium close to approving booster doses for all teenagers
During the same week, an average of 22.3 Covid-19 patients died on a daily basis, down by 42% since last week. The total number of deaths in Belgium since the start of the pandemic amounts to 30,217.
The official death statistics also include people who died of another cause of death, but who happened to be infected, meaning they are an overestimate of the deaths caused by the virus.
Situation in Belgian hospitals
Between 24 February and 2 March, an average of 134.1 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals each day – a decrease of 28% on the seven days previous.
This number reflects how many people end up in hospital specifically because of the virus, not those who are admitted with another condition and then test positive for the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, a total of 2,135 people were in Belgian hospitals due to an infection, 54 fewer than on Tuesday, of whom 214 were being treated in intensive care (-10) and 104 (the same) patients were on a ventilator.
This number covers all patients who tested positive for Covid-19, including those who were first admitted with a different condition.
For the Consultative Committee to issue Code Yellow on the coronavirus barometer during its next meeting on Friday (tomorrow), the number of Covid-19 hospitalisations must drop below 65 and the number of beds occupied in intensive care should be below 300.
Reproduction rate, incidence, and total vaccinations
The reproduction rate (Rt) has slightly increased to 0.80. This figure represents the average number of people that contract the virus from each infected person, and when it is below 1, it means that the epidemic is losing ground in Belgium.
The incidence (the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants) is continuing to drop and now sits at 935 over the past 14 days.
As of Monday, almost 9.1 million people are fully vaccinated – 89% of Belgium's adult population and 79% of the total population.
Meanwhile, more than 7 million people have received a booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine, representing 74% of over-18s and 61% of the entire population. The majority of adults should have had the opportunity to get a booster dose by March 2022.
A study from the United Kingdom's Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) showed that booster vaccinations are estimated to have prevented 105,600 people from ending up in hospitals following a Covid-19 infection since mid-December.