Belgium’s Covid-19 outlook improves, but pressure on ICUs grows
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Belgium’s Covid-19 outlook improves, but pressure on ICUs grows

Credit: Belga

As the number of new people who tested positive for the coronavirus in Belgium over the past week is decreasing, the number of patients needing intensive care continues to go up, according to Sciensano’s latest figures on Thursday.

Between 26 October and 1 November, an average of 14,091.7 new people tested positive per day over the past week, which is a 6% decrease compared to the week before.

The total number of confirmed cases in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is 468,213. 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, 1,774.4 infections were confirmed per 100,000 inhabitants, an increase of 84% compared to the two weeks before.

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Between 28 October and 4 November, an average of 679.9 patients was admitted to hospital, up from a daily average of 636.5 the week before.

In total, 7,405 coronavirus patients are currently admitted to hospital, of which 1,412 are currently in intensive care – 59 more than the day before. Patients on a ventilator number 792, which is 41 more than yesterday.

From 26 October to 1 November, an average number of 146.7 deaths occurred per day, up from the daily average of 108.9 during the week before.

The total number of deaths in the country since the beginning of the pandemic is currently 12,331 – 205 more than yesterday.

Since the start of the pandemic, a total of over 5.1 million tests have been carried out. Of those tests, 59,200 were taken over the past week, with a positivity rate of 28.5%. This means that over a quarter of the people who get tested receive a positive result.

The percentage went up from 25.9% last week, and coincides with an 11% 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 1.09. 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