Sharp rise in number of Covid-19 cases in Belgium

Sharp rise in number of Covid-19 cases in Belgium
Credit: Belga / Nicolas Maeterlinck

The Covid-19 situation in Belgium has slightly worsened on all fronts, as the number of cases has risen sharply this week with deaths and hospitalisations increasing.

Between 31 January and 6 February, the average number of new Covid-19 infections recorded per day rose by 48% to 707, up from almost 480 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 an average of around 800 to 5,500 per day. The positivity rate has reached 14.1% (up from 11.5% last week), equating to around one in seven tests having a positive result.

The reproduction rate has dropped slightly to 1.12 from 1.15 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 to 72 from 49 last Friday.

In the same week, an average of almost five deaths (+21%) 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 33,616; 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 3 to 9 February), an average of 67.3 Covid-19 patients (+19%) were hospitalised per day – up from an average of 56 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 more than 140 since last Friday to 977. The average number of patients being treated in intensive care is the only significant indicator that has dropped, from 51 to 43. 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 more than 3.88 million people also received a second booster dose, equivalent to 42% of over-18s and 34% 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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