A total of 20,034 persons infected with Coronavirus (COVID-19) have been admitted to hospitals in Belgium since the start of the pandemic on 15 March, according to figures published on Sunday by the Sciensano public health institute.
On average, 64 COVID-19 patients were admitted to hospital each day from 20 to 26 September, a 45% increase over the previous seven-day period.
On Saturday, 626 hospital beds were occupied by people infected with the virus. This was 49% more than the previous Saturday. The number of persons in intensive care went up by 54%, from 78 on 19 September to 120 on 26 September.
The number of occupied hospital beds increased by 205 units, including 42 additional beds in intensive care, between 19 September and 26 September.
Between 17 and 23 September, 10,701 new COVID-19 infections were registered. The daily average of 1,528.7 cases, a 24% increase, represented an infection rate of 93.1 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Over the same period, 254,793 tests were conducted: a daily average of 36,399 tests. Since the start of the health crisis, 112,803 infections have been recorded in Belgium.
The overall positivity rate in the country is 4.7%. Brussels has the highest rate, 9.7%, followed by the province of Liège (6.7%), Walloon Brabant (6%) and Hainaut (5.4%).
The reproduction rate, which measures the contagiousness of the virus, is now 1.254, which means the epidemic is spreading. The rate is now higher than 1 in all provinces except Liège.
So far, 9,974 persons have died since the start of the epidemic, with average daily deaths rising to 4.1 in the 17-23 September period, a 53% increase.