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As the cases continue to rise, the deaths begin to follow

© Laurie Dieffembacq/Belga

The coronavirus infection rate in Belgium continues to rise, while the number of deaths due to the virus is increasing, according to the latest official figures published by the Sciensano public health institute on Saturday.

Between 17 and 23 March, an average of 4,530 new people tested positive per day, which is a 31% increase compared to the week before.

The total number of confirmed cases in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is 860,731, up by over 6,000 from Thursday. 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, 486.0 infections were confirmed per 100,000 inhabitants, which is a 63% increase compared to the two weeks before.

Between 20 and 26 March, an average of 200.6 patients were admitted to the hospital per day, an increase of 7% compared to the week before.

In total, 2,499 coronavirus patients were in hospital on Friday, 47 more than the day before. Of all patients, 664 were in intensive care, 13 more than yesterday, while 355 patients were on a ventilator, a figure unchanged since Thursday.

From 17 to 23 March, an average number of 26.7 deaths occurred per day, marking a 12% increase compared to the week before.

The total number of deaths in the country since the beginning of the pandemic is currently 22,816.

Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 10,772,328 tests have been carried out. Of those tests, an average of 62,204.1 were taken per day over the past week, with a positivity rate of 7.7%.

The percentage went up by 0.5% compared to last week, while testing increased by 22%.

A total of 1,152,481 people in Belgium have received at least one dose of vaccine against coronavirus, or 12.5% of the population aged 18 and older. In addition, 479,168 people – or 5.2% of the adult population – have been fully vaccinated.

The reproduction rate, meanwhile, now stands at 1.13 meaning that one person with coronavirus infects more than one other person on average and that the epidemic is growing in Belgium.

The Brussels Times