Belgian hospitals record lowest number of new Covid-19 patients since 19 October
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Belgian hospitals record lowest number of new Covid-19 patients since 19 October

Credit: Belga

On Thursday, Belgian hospitals admitted the lowest number of new coronavirus patients since mid-October, as infection figures drop below 7,000 cases per day, according to Sciensano’s latest figures on Friday.

Between 3 and 9 November, an average of 6,877 new people tested positive per day over the past week, which is a 48% decrease compared to the week before.

The total number of confirmed cases in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is 520,393. 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, 1,232 infections were confirmed per 100,000 inhabitants, a decrease of 25% compared to the two weeks before.

Between 6 and 12 November, an average of 497.4 patients was admitted to hospital, down from a daily average of 580.6 the week before. On Thursday, 399 patients were admitted to hospital, the lowest number since 19 October.

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In total, 7,010 coronavirus patients are currently admitted to hospital, 131 more than yesterday. Of those patients, 1,452 are currently in intensive care, which is 11 fewer than the day before. Patients on a ventilator number 902 – eight more than yesterday.

From 3 to 9 November, an average number of 196 deaths occurred per day, up from the daily average of 179.3 the week before.

The total number of deaths in the country since the beginning of the pandemic is currently 13,891 – 133 more than yesterday.

Since the start of the pandemic, a total of over 5.4 million tests have been carried out. Of those tests, 35,800 were taken over the past week, with a positivity rate of 23.2%. This means that just under a quarter of the people who get tested receive a positive result.

The percentage went down from 26% last week, and coincides with a 38% 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 0.83. That rate (Rt) is the rate at which the virus spreads. Since it is now below 1.0, the virus seems to no longer be growing in the population.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times