Covid-19 infections continue to drop but deaths near 14 per day

Covid-19 infections continue to drop but deaths near 14 per day
Credit: Belga

The Covid-19 situation in Belgium is continuing to make a slight improvement; however, the number of people dying as a result of the virus is still rising, numbering almost 14 per day.

Between 23 and 29 July, an average of 3,972 new daily Covid-19 infections were identified – down 7% from the previous seven days, according to figures published by the Sciensano Institute of Public Health on Tuesday morning.

The average number of tests taken per day remains similar to last week, at around 13,800. The positivity rate remains high compared to one month ago and sits at 31.6%, meaning around three in ten tests has a positive result.

Omicron BA.5 remains the dominant strain, accounting for 77.5% of all infections. The strain is said to be no more or less infectious than the other Omicron subvariants but is effective at circumventing people’s accumulated immunity.

While other major Covid-19 indicators are dropping, the number of deaths as a result of infection remains high, with 13.7 Covid-19 patients dying each day over the past seven days – up 25% from the previous week and the highest since the start of May.

The total number of deaths in Belgium since the start of the pandemic is 32,263. However, this includes people who died of another cause but who happened to be infected, meaning that it is an overestimate of deaths attributed to Covid-19.

Situation in Belgian hospitals

In the last seven days, an average of 127.6 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals each day – a 21% decrease from the previous seven days, and down from 150 on Friday last week.

The figure reflects how many people are hospitalised directly because of the virus, not those admitted with another condition and then also test positive for Covid-19.

Credit: Belga / Benoit Doppagne

On Monday, a total of 1,901 people were in Belgian hospitals due to an infection, almost 100 fewer than on Friday last week, while the number of people being treated in intensive care sits at 124, around 20 more than last week.

This number covers all patients who tested positive for Covid-19, including those who were first admitted with a different condition

Reproduction rate, incidence, and total vaccinations

The reproduction rate slumped to 0.85. This figure represents the average number of people that contract the virus from each infected person. When it is below 1, it means that the epidemic is slowing down in Belgium.

The incidence (the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants) has dropped by almost 150 since last week and sits at 499 over the past 14 days.

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As of Saturday, almost 9.1 million people are fully vaccinated – 89% of Belgium's adult population and 78% of the total population. This figure was higher, but since the end of June, this figure takes into account vaccinated people who died.

Meanwhile, almost 7.18 million people have received a booster dose of the vaccine, representing 76% of over-18s and 62% of the entire population. From September onwards, an additional booster will be available to a larger group of the population. Find out if you are eligible here.

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