The numbers of new cases of Covid-19 and hospital admissions are rising sharply as some experts see the start of a third wave of the pandemic, according to the latest figures published by the Sciensano public health institute on Saturday.
Between 17 and 23 February, an average of 2,372.9 new people tested positive per day, which is a 25% increase compared to the week before.
The total number of confirmed cases in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is 766,654. 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, 259.7 infections were confirmed per 100,000 inhabitants, which is a 3% decrease compared to the two weeks before.
Between 20 and 26 February, an average of 137.9 patients were admitted to hospital, an increase of 16% compared to the week before.
In total, 1,838 coronavirus patients are currently in hospital, or 77 more than yesterday. Of all patients, 400 are in intensive care, which is 32 more than yesterday. A total of 181 patients are on a ventilator – 23 more than yesterday.
From 17 to 23 February, an average number of 28 deaths occurred per day, marking a 30% decrease compared to the week before.
The total number of deaths in the country since the beginning of the pandemic is currently 22,034.
Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 9,385,939 tests have been carried out. Of those tests, an average of 38,808.4 were taken per day over the past week, with a positivity rate of 6.7%.
The percentage increased by 1.2% compared to last week, along with a 3% drop in testing.
A total of 461,060 people in Belgium have received the first dose of their vaccinations, or 5% of the population aged 18 and older. In addition, 296,169 people have received their second dose.
The reproduction rate, finally, stands at 1.12, which means that a person infected with coronavirus infects more than one other person on average and the pandemic is growing again.