Slight increase in Covid-19 infections, situation in hospitals remains stable

Slight increase in Covid-19 infections, situation in hospitals remains stable
A person shows his negative result. Credit: Belga/ Laurie Dieffembacq

A slight increase in the number of new Covid-19 infections has been recorded, however, the situation remains stable in Belgian hospitals.

Between 12 and 18 November, the average number of new Covid-19 infections recorded per day increased by 14% to 743, figures published by the Sciensano Institute of Public Health on Tuesday showed. In comparison, at this time last year, the figure stood at almost 18,000.

The average number of tests taken per day has also risen to 6,000 per day, while the positivity rate is slightly higher, having increased to 13.5%, meaning more than one in eight tests has a positive result.

Omicron BA.5 remains the dominant strain, accounting for 87.9% 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 average of 5.1 deaths from Covid-19 infections were recorded (+9%). The total number of deaths in Belgium since the start of the pandemic is 33,027; 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 43.1 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals each day, down by 19% 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 risen to 707, up from 652 on Friday last week. The number of patients being treated in intensive care has increased to 48, eight more than last week.

This figure includes people who were admitted for another reason and later contracted the virus.

Vaccination

The reproduction rate has not been updated since last Friday when it sat at 0.82. 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 84.

As of Saturday, 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 3.78 million people have received a second booster dose – equivalent to 41% of over-18s and 33% of the total population.

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