Monday’s infection figures (which have not yet been confirmed) show that more than 60,000 coronavirus cases were recorded in one day, breaking the last record of 37,000 by almost twice as many infections.
Between 10 and 16 January, an average of 28,252 new coronavirus infections were identified every day – up by 27% on the previous seven days, a slightly slower increase than seen in earlier weeks, according to the figures published by the Sciensano Public Health Institute on Thursday morning.
The average number of tests taken per day in the same period remained the same since last week, sitting at around 86,349.1. The number of tests taken on Monday was not higher than average.
Meanwhile, the positivity rate continues to increase and now sits at 35.2%, meaning more than one in three tests undertaken are now positive.
Despite the increase in cases starting around Christmas, a significant increase in Covid-19 deaths has not yet been recorded. During the same period, an average of 20.3 Covid-19 patients died per day, up by 6% since last week.
Total deaths in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic amount to 28,726.
Fewer patients in critical condition
The number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care in Belgium continues to decrease despite the rise in infections continuing its course, and the increase in hospitalisations.
Between 13 and 19 January, an average of 232.3 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals per day – up 28% on the seven days previous.
On Wednesday, a total of 2,568 people were in Belgian hospitals due to an infection, 151 more than on Tuesday, and almost 1,000 more than on the first day of this year.
However, the number of patients in a critical condition continues to decrease, as 387 (-4) Covid-19 patients are being treated in intensive care and 198 are on a ventilator (-3).
The reproduction rate (Rt) has once again increased to 1.19. 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) continues to rise and now sits at 3,066 over the past 14 days.
As of Tuesday, more than 8.83 million people are fully vaccinated – 88% of Belgium’s adult population and 77% of the total population.
Meanwhile, some 6.03 million people have received a booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine, representing 65% of over-18s and 52% of the entire population. The majority of adults should have had the opportunity to get a booster dose by March 2022.
Data from the United Kingdom’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA) showed that booster doses continue to provide high levels of protection against severe disease from the Omicron variant, especially among older adults.