Belgium's new Covid-19 cases decrease, but hospitalisations continue to rise

Belgium's new Covid-19 cases decrease, but hospitalisations continue to rise
Credit: Belga/Dirk Waem

The number of additional people who tested positive for the coronavirus in Belgium started to decrease over the past week, but the hospitalisations continue to rise, according to Sciensano’s latest figures on Wednesday.

Between 25 and 31 October, an average of 14,235.4 new people tested positive per day over the past week, which is a decrease of 4% compared to the week before.

The total number of confirmed cases in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is 452,541. 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, 1,774.8 infections were confirmed per 100,000 inhabitants, an increase of 90% compared to the two weeks before.

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Between 27 October and 3 November, an average of 692.4 patients was admitted to hospital, up from a daily average of 619.9 the week before.

In total, 7,485 coronavirus patients are currently admitted to hospital, which is 254 more than yesterday. Of those patients, 1,351 are in intensive care, 49 more than the day before. Patients on a ventilator number 750 – 53 more than yesterday.

From 25 to 31 October, an average number of 136.3 deaths occurred per day, up from the daily average of 98.8 during the week before.

The total number of deaths in the country since the beginning of the pandemic is currently 12,126 – 268 more than yesterday.

Since the start of the pandemic, a total of over 5.1 million tests have been carried out. Of those tests, 61,400 were taken over the past week, with a positivity rate of 28.8%. 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 25.5% last week, and coincides with a 9% 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

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