Covid-19 infections on the rise again

Covid-19 infections on the rise again
A person shows his negative result. Credit: Belga/ Laurie Dieffembacq

While the average number of new Covid-19 infections per day is increasing again in Belgium, the situation in hospitals remains stable.

Between 18 and 24 November, the average number of new Covid-19 infections recorded per day increased by 28% to 788, figures published by the Sciensano Institute of Public Health on Friday showed. In comparison, at this time last year, the figure stood at almost 18,000.

The average number of tests taken per day has also risen to about 6,100 per day, while the positivity rate is slightly higher, having increased to 14.1%, meaning approximately than one in seven tests has a positive result.

Omicron BA.5 remains the dominant strain, accounting for 92.7% of all infections. It is said to be no more infectious than the other Omicron subvariants but can circumvent accumulated immunity.

In the same week, an average of 3 deaths from Covid-19 infections was recorded (-51%). The total number of deaths in Belgium since the start of the pandemic is 33,042; however, this includes people who died of another cause but who were infected, meaning it is an overestimate of Covid-19 deaths.

Situation in hospitals

An average of 54 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals each day, up by 27% since last week. This figure only includes the number of people hospitalised because of the virus.

The total number of people infected with the virus in Belgian hospitals has risen to 762, up from 707 on Tuesday. The number of patients being treated in intensive care has increased to 44, four more than last week.

This figure includes people who were admitted for another reason and later contracted the virus.

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The reproduction rate sits at 1.15. When this figure is higher than 1, it means that the epidemic is growing. The incidence (the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants) has slightly increased to 85.

As of Thursday, more than 7.22 million people received a first booster dose of the vaccine, representing 76% of over-18s and 62% of the entire population, while almost 3.78 million of those have also received a second booster dose – equivalent to 41% of over-18s and 33% of the total population.

Adults across all regions in Belgium can now get their additional booster shots (without invitation in Wallonia and Brussels). Find out why getting the latest jab is important.

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