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Covid-19: Epidemic gets the upper hand as infections rise

Airport testing centre. Credit: Belga

Despite the number of coronavirus infections in Belgium being on the rise for over one week, the number of deaths as a result of the virus continues to drop.

Between 7 and 13 July, the average number of deaths due to the virus remained relatively stable and now sits at a daily average of 1.6, bringing the total to 25,209 deaths since the start of the pandemic in Belgium.

In the last week, there have been at least two days on which no one died as a result of the virus.

During the same period, an average of 1,231 new coronavirus infections were detected per day, a 76% increase from the average of the previous week, according to the latest figures from Sciensano Health Institute published on Saturday morning.

The daily average of testing over the past week remained unchanged since last week (a daily average of 63,157.3 tests were carried out), whilst the positivity rate has increased to 2.1%, the highest it has been in months.

At first, it appeared that the rise in new cases was a result of the increased testing as people started travelling at the start of summer, but that relationship can no longer be seen.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 1,103,413 cases of coronavirus infection have been diagnosed in Belgium.

Although the number of deaths remains low, the number of new hospitalisations has started to increase, as between 10 and 16 July, there was an average of 21.3 new hospital admissions per day due to the coronavirus, a 21% increase compared to the previous reference period.

On Friday, a total of 239 people were in hospital as a result of the coronavirus (14 fewer than on Thursday) of whom 81 (+5) people were being treated in intensive care, and 50 people (-7) were on a ventilator.

The incidence, which indicates the average number of new cases per day per 100,000 inhabitants, is continuing to increase and has now risen by 155% since the last 14-day period, sitting at 117.5.

The reproduction rate of the coronavirus has skyrocketed to 1.22 after slumping to 1 on Thursday. This figure is the average number of people infected by an infected person. When the figure is higher than 1, it means the pandemic is gathering pace in Belgium.

As of Friday, 82% of the adult population in Belgium had received the first injection of a coronavirus vaccine. This figure equates to just over 7.7 million people.

Of these, almost 5.3 million people (57.3% of the adult population in Belgium) have received a second dose and are now considered fully protected.

These daily summaries from Sciensano will no longer appear on Sunday and Monday until further notice.

The Brussels Times