Slight increase in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations

Slight increase in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations
People show their negative test results. Credit: Belga

After reaching the lowest level in a year last week, the average number of Covid-19 infections has once again slightly increased, a trend also recorded in Belgian hospitals.

Between 24 and 30 January, the average number of new Covid-19 infections recorded per day rose by 40% to 477, up from 340 this day last week, figures published by the Sciensano Institute of Public Health on Friday morning showed.

Meanwhile, the number of tests carried out increased by just 5% to around 4,700 per day. The positivity rate has reached 11.4% (up from 9.3% last week), equating to more than one in ten tests having a positive result.

The reproduction rate has risen to 1.15 from 0.88 last week. When this figure is above 1, it means that the epidemic is gaining ground in Belgium. The incidence (the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants) has risen slightly to 49 from 46 last Friday.

In the same week, an average of four deaths from Covid-19 infections per day was recorded, the same as last week. The total number of deaths in Belgium since the start of the pandemic is 33,582; 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

In the last week (from 27 January to 2 February), an average of 56.6 Covid-19 patients (+30%) were hospitalised per day – up from an average of 43 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 increased by almost 200 since last Friday to 833, while the average number of patients being treated in intensive care has risen to 51 from 45. These figures also include people who were admitted for another reason and later contracted the virus.

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As of Saturday last week, more than 7.23 million people received a first booster dose of the vaccine, representing 76% of over-18s and 62% of the entire population, while almost 3.88 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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