The number of Covid-19 infections and hospitalisations being recorded on a daily basis is much lower this month compared to November last year.
Between 8 and 14 November, the average number of new Covid-19 infections recorded per day dropped by 16% to 616, figures published by the Sciensano Institute of Public Health on Friday showed. At this time last year, the figure stood at almost 15,000.
However, the average number of tests taken per day at the moment is significantly lower now than last year: 5,500 per day compared to around 100,000 on this day in 2021. The current positivity rate has fallen to 13%, meaning slightly more than one in eight tests has a positive result.
Omicron BA.5 remains the dominant strain, accounting for 89.7% of all infections. It is said to be no more infectious than the other Omicron subvariants but can circumvent accumulated immunity.
In the same week, an increased average of 5.9 deaths from Covid-19 infections were recorded (+24%), while this time last year, the figure stood at an average of 33.7 people dying per day. This figure is currently much lower because there are fewer people infected, but also due to Belgium's high vaccination rate.
The total number of deaths in Belgium since the start of the pandemic is 33,021; however, this includes people who died of another cause but who were infected, meaning it is an overestimate of Covid-19 deaths.
Situation in hospitals
An average of 42.6 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals each day, down by 23% since last week. This figure only includes the number of people hospitalised because of the virus.
Meanwhile, the total number of people infected with the virus in Belgian hospitals has dropped, to 652 – around 140 fewer than Tuesday this week. The number of patients being treated in intensive care has dropped to 40, 14 fewer than earlier this week. This figure includes people who were administered for another reason and later contracted the virus.
The reproduction rate has only again dropped to 0.82 after nearing 1 earlier this week. When this figure is below 1, it means that the epidemic is slowing down. The incidence (the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants) has slightly increased to 80.
As of Tuesday, more than 7.22 million people received a first booster dose of the vaccine, representing 76% of over-18s and 62% of the entire population, while almost 3.75 million people have received a second booster dose – equivalent to 40% of over-18s and 32% of the total population.
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Adults across all regions in Belgium can now get their additional booster shots (without invitation in Wallonia and Brussels). Find out why getting this latest jab is important.