Average number of Covid-19 infections reach lowest level in one year

Average number of Covid-19 infections reach lowest level in one year
The ICU of a hospital in Liège. Credit: Belga/ Benoit Doppagne

The average number of Covid-19 infections has dropped to the lowest level seen all year, and the numbers of hospitalisations and deaths also continue to drop.

Between 17 and 23 January, the average number of new Covid-19 infections recorded per day dropped by 21% to 340, down from 428 this day last week, figures published by the Sciensano Institute of Public Health on Friday morning showed.

Meanwhile, the number of tests carried out fell by 15% to around 4,500 per day. The positivity rate has also dropped to 9.3%, meaning fewer than one in ten tests has a positive result.

The reproduction rate has slightly risen to 0.88. When this figure is under 1, it means that the epidemic is slowing down. The incidence (the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants) has dropped to 46 from 64.

In the same week, the average number of deaths from Covid-19 infections per day has halved to around 4. The total number of deaths in Belgium since the start of the pandemic is 33,557; however, this includes people who died of another cause but who were infected, meaning it is an overestimate of Covid-19 deaths.

Hospitalisation and vaccinations

Last week (from 20 to 26 January), an average of 43 Covid-19 patients (-17%) were hospitalised per day – down from an average of 51 in the previous week. 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 dropped from a peak of around 2,000 shortly before Christmas to 649, around 160 fewer than during the previous week.

The average number of patients being treated in intensive care has fallen to 45 from 57. These figures also include people who were admitted for another reason and later contracted the virus.

As of Saturday last week, nearly 7.23 million people received a first booster dose of the vaccine, representing 76% of over-18s and 62% of the entire population, while more than 3.87 million people also received a second booster dose, equivalent to 42% of over-18s and 33% of the total population.

Sciensano Health Insitute has reduced the frequency of the updates it provides. The Covid-19 figures will be updated every Friday. 

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