Covid-19: Reproduction rate drops below 1.0 as spread slows

Covid-19: Reproduction rate drops below 1.0 as spread slows
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As the number of Covid-19 patients admitted to hospital has started to decrease, the pressure on intensive care units continues to rise and the number of deaths has gone up, according to Sciensano’s latest figures on Saturday.

Between 28 October and 3 November, an average of 11,789.7 new people tested positive per day over the past week, which is a 27% decrease compared to the week before.

The total number of confirmed cases in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is 488,044. 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, 1,696.8 infections were confirmed per 100,000 inhabitants, an increase of 45% compared to the two weeks before.

Between 29 October and 5 November, 645.4 patients on average were admitted to hospital, up from a daily average of 640.9 the week before.

In total, 7,208 coronavirus patients are currently admitted to hospital, 74 fewer than yesterday, meaning the number of patients in hospital is starting to decrease. Of those patients, 1,459 are currently in intensive care, which is 31 more than the day before. Patients on a ventilator number 831 – nine more than yesterday.

From 28 October to 3 November, an average number of 165.3 deaths occurred per day, a 79.4% increase on the week before (20 to 26 October), when an average of 128.7 deaths were recorded per day.

The total number of deaths in the country since the beginning of the pandemic is currently 12,708 – 128 more than yesterday.

Since the start of the pandemic, a total of over 5.2 million tests have been carried out. Of those tests, 53,900 were taken over the past week, with a positivity rate of 27.1%. This means that over a quarter of the people who get tested receive a positive result.

The percentage went up slightly from 27.0% last week, and coincides with a 17% drop 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 0.99 – its lowest level since 4 September. That rate (Rt) is the rate at which the virus spreads. Since it is now below 1.0, the virus seems to be no longer growing in the population.

The Brussels Times

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