Covid-19 hospitalisations and infections continue to rise

Covid-19 hospitalisations and infections continue to rise
Credit: Dirk Waem/Belga

Both Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations as a result of an infection in Belgium are increasing more rapidly, figures published by the Sciensano Institute of Public Health on Friday showed.

An average of 80 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals each day, up 15% since last week and up by an average of four patients since Tuesday. One month ago, this number sat at around 50. This figure only includes the number of people hospitalised because of the virus.

The total number of people infected with the virus in Belgian hospitals has risen to 1,203 – around 80 more than on Tuesday. Fortunately, the average number of patients being treated in intensive care in the last week has dropped again from 60 three days ago to 53.

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

Cases, tests and vaccination

Between 29 November and 5 December, the average number of new Covid-19 infections recorded per day increased by 21% to 1,174, almost double the figure recorded three weeks ago, but just a slight increase since Tuesday.

The average number of tests taken per day has also risen to about 7,500 per day, while the positivity rate increased to 16.7%, meaning almost one in seven tests has a positive result.

However, in the same week, the average number of deaths from Covid-19 infections per day remained relatively stable at 3.7% (-10%). The total number of deaths in Belgium since the start of the pandemic is 33,100; however, this includes people who died of another cause but who were infected, meaning it is an overestimate of Covid-19 deaths.

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The reproduction rate has decreased to 1.11 from 1.22 last Friday. When this figure is higher than 1, it means that the epidemic is growing. The incidence (the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants) has slightly increased to 130.

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 more than 3.8 million people also received a second booster dose, equivalent to 41% of over-18s and 33% of the total population.

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