Belgian hospitals reach record high of over 7,000 Covid-19 patients
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Belgian hospitals reach record high of over 7,000 Covid-19 patients

Credit: Belga

For the first time since the start of the coronavirus epidemic in Belgium, a total of more than 7,000 Covid-19 patients are admitted to hospital, according to Sciensano’s latest figures on Tuesday.

In total, 7,231 coronavirus patients are currently admitted to hospital, which is 408 more than yesterday. Of those patients, 1,302 are in intensive care, 79 more than the day before. Patients on a ventilator number 697 – 26 more than yesterday.

Between 26 October and 2 November, an average of 665.9 patients were admitted to hospital, up from a daily average of 586.7 to the week before.

Additionally, an average of 15,071 new people tested positive per day over the past week, which is an increase of 4% compared to the week before.

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The total number of confirmed cases in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is 447,355. The total reflects all people in Belgium who have been infected, and includes confirmed active cases as well as patients who have since recovered, or died as a result of the virus.

Over the past two weeks, 1,797.4 infections were confirmed per 100,000 inhabitants, an increase of 104% compared to the two weeks before.

From 24 to 30 October, an average number of 122.6 deaths occurred per day, up from the daily average of 87 during the week before.

The total number of deaths in the country since the beginning of the pandemic is currently 11,858 – 121 more than yesterday.

Since the start of the pandemic, a total of over 5 million tests have been carried out. Of those tests, 62,600 were taken over the past week, with a positivity rate of 29.2%. This means that over a quarter of the people who get tested receive a positive result, and the ratio is climbing towards one in three.

The percentage went up from 25% last week, and coincides with a 7% fall in the number of tests being carried out, after the authorities decided not to test patients with no symptoms.

Since 21 October, only people with coronavirus symptoms are being tested. That means that some new infections, which used to be detected, are missing in the statistics, Sciensano said. The public health institute will use statistical models to calculate those infections that are not registered under the new testing strategy.

The reproduction rate, meanwhile, has been coming down since 23 October, and now stands at 1.15. That rate (Rt) is the rate at which the virus spreads. Until it comes down below 1.0, the virus is continuing to grow in the population.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times