Coronavirus (COVID-19) figures published by the Sciensano public health institute continue to reflect an upward trend, with 620 hospitalisations on Friday, a 58% increase in one week, while patients in intensive care went from 78 to 109.
Hospital admissions averaged 64.7 per day between 19 and 25 September, an increase of 56% compared to the previous seven-day period. On Friday, 55 patients needed respiratory support and eight were on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), which provides both cardiac and respiratory support.
From 16 to 22 September, new COVID-19 infections averaged 1,540.7 per day, a 40% increase. Over the same period, 257,815 tests were run, a daily average of 36,831.
Belgium has registered a cumulative total of 110,976 infections since the start of the pandemic.
From 16 to 22 September, 10,785 new cases were diagnosed – a rate of 93.8 infections for every 100,000 inhabitants. The rate for 9-15 September had been 67.2 per 100,000 inhabitants, while the previous one, for 2-8 September, had been 36.9 per 100,000.
The biggest spike in the period under review was registered in Brussels, with 2,353 new infections, followed by Antwerp (1,913), Liège (1,481) and Hainaut (1,118).
The positivity rate now averages 4.4%. It is highest in Brussels (9.5%), followed by Liège (6.4%), Walloon Brabant (6%) and Hainaut (5%).
The reproduction rate of the virus, used to measure its contagiousness, is now 1.353. In fact, it is above 1 in each of the provinces.
A total of 9,969 persons have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, with average deaths increasing by 21% to 3.3 per day in the 16-22 September period.