Number of Covid-19 patients in hospital drops to 870, infections continue to decline

Number of Covid-19 patients in hospital drops to 870, infections continue to decline
Credit: Belga

The number of people in Belgian hospitals that have tested positive for Covid-19 dropped to 870, returning to the level recorded in mid-June before the last wave.

In the last seven days, an average of 64 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals each day — a 19% decrease from the previous seven days, according to figures published by the Sciensano Institute of Public Health on Tuesday morning.

The current figures only include the number of people hospitalised because of the virus. Meanwhile, a total of 870 people in Belgian hospitals were infected with the virus on Monday. This number does include patients admitted with a different condition who later tested positive.

The number of Covid-19 patients being treated in intensive care increased slightly to 77.

Cases, testing and deaths

An average of 1,546 new daily infections were identified between 20 and 26 August, down 9% from the previous seven days.

The average number of tests taken per day remains at the same level seen last week (7,700), but the positivity rate dropped to 22.2%, meaning slightly more than one in five tests have a positive result.

Pacheco test and vaccination centre in Brussels. Credit: The Brussels Times/ Lauren Walker

Omicron BA.5 remains the dominant strain, accounting for 94.3% of all infections. The strain is said to be no more infectious than the other Omicron subvariants but is effective at circumventing people’s accumulated immunity.

Meanwhile, an average of 6.9 Covid-19 patients died each day over the past seven days (-23%). The total number of deaths in Belgium since the start of the pandemic is 32,516. This includes people who died of another cause but who were infected, meaning it may be an overestimate of Covid-19 deaths.

Reproduction rate, incidence, and total vaccinations

The reproduction rate (the average number of people that contract the virus from each infected person) sits at 0.88. 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 decreased to 197 over the past 14 days.

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As of Saturday, more than 7.18 million people have received a booster dose of the vaccine, representing 76% of over-18s and 62% of the entire population, while 600,489 people have had a second booster dose or 5% of the total population. This group mainly consists of people aged over 75.

Belgium's regions will soon start inviting a broader group of the general population for additional booster shots. Find out if you are eligible here

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