An average of 1,470 new daily infections were identified between 23 and 29 August, down 25% from the previous seven days, according to figures published by the Sciensano Institute of Public Health on Friday morning.
The average number of tests taken per day decreased slightly since Tuesday to 7,600, while the positivity rate dropped to 21.7%, meaning slightly more than one in five tests have a positive result.
Omicron BA.5 remains the dominant strain, accounting for 96% 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 5.3 Covid-19 patients died each day over the past seven days (-37%). The total number of deaths in Belgium since the start of the pandemic is 32,534. This includes people who died of another cause but who were infected, meaning it may be an overestimate of Covid-19 deaths.
Situation in Belgian hospitals
In the last seven days, an average of 59.1 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals each day — a 17% decrease from the previous seven days.
The current figures only include the number of people hospitalised because of the virus. Meanwhile, a total of 776 people in Belgian hospitals were infected with the virus on Thursday, almost 100 fewer than 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 decreased to 58.
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 increased slightly to 207 over the past 14 days.
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As of Saturday, more than 7.18 million people have now received a booster dose of the vaccine, representing 76% of over-18s and 62% of the entire population, while more than 606,000 people have had a second booster dose – equivalent to 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 from the end of September onwards. Find out if you are eligible here