More than 50,000 new coronavirus cases are being recorded on average every day in Belgium, while another day record may have been set on Monday.
Between 17 and 23 January, an average of 50,110 new coronavirus infections were identified every day — up by 77% on the previous seven days, according to the figures published by the Sciensano Public Health Institute on Thursday morning.
On Monday last week, the highest number of cases was recorded since the start of the pandemic (62,425), however, preliminary figures for Monday (24 January) show more than 73,000 infections were registered, which would be a new record. The Omicron variant accounts for almost 98% of all cases.
The average number of PCR tests taken per day in the same period also increased slightly, as some 115,699.9 tests were carried out. The positivity rate continues to increase and now sits at 45.6%, meaning almost half of all tests undertaken are positive, the highest number since the start of the pandemic.
Despite the fifth wave starting one month ago, the number of deaths recorded on a daily basis remains relatively stable. During the same period, an average of 24.9 Covid-19 patients died per day, up by 20% since last week.
Total deaths in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic amount to 28,902.
Reproduction rate decreasing again
Between 20 and 26 January, an average of 335.7 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals per day — a significant increase of 44% on the seven days previous.
On Wednesday, a total of 3,583 people were in Belgian hospitals due to an infection, 145 more than on Tuesday. However, the number of patients being treated in intensive care has further declined to 352 (-15) while 170 (-2) are on a ventilator.
The reproduction rate (Rt) has slightly decreased to 1.22. 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 4,766 over the past 14 days.
As of Tuesday, almost 8.85 million people are fully vaccinated — 89% of Belgium’s adult population and 77% of the total population.
Meanwhile, almost 6.39 million people have received a booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine, representing 69% of over-18s and 55% 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.