Reproduction rate drops below 1, mirroring decline in coronavirus infections

Reproduction rate drops below 1, mirroring decline in coronavirus infections
Credit: Belga

The virus reproduction rate in Belgium has dropped below 1 for the first time since mid-October, confirming an overall decline in the number of new coronavirus infections in Belgium.

The reproduction rate (Rt) has dropped to 0.96, according to figures published by the Sciensano Public Health Institute on Tuesday morning. This figure represents the average number of people infected by each infected person, and when it is lower than 1, it means that the epidemic is slowing down in Belgium.

Between 27 November and 3 December, an average of 17,146 new coronavirus infections were identified every day, a 4% decrease from the previous seven days.

The number of tests taken also decreased, by 3% since last week, to 114,547.6. However, the positivity rate continues to increase, now sitting at 16.6%.

During the same period, the number of people dying as a result of the virus has continued to increase as well. An average of 48.1 Covid-19 patients died per day, up by 22% from last week. This brings the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in Belgium to 27,319.

Between 30 November and 6 December, an average of 300.4 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals per day, a 5% decrease since the last seven days. This means it is possible that, here too, the peak of the fourth wave may have been reached.

On Monday, a total of 3,652 people were in hospitals due to an infection (73 more than on Sunday), including 816 patients being treated in intensive care (+7), with 438 on a ventilator (+5).

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The incidence, which indicates the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants, has increased by 37% and now sits at 2,125.6 over the past 14 days.

As of Sunday, more than 8.85 million people in Belgium have received a first dose of the vaccine, representing 89% of the adult population, and 77% of the total population.

Meanwhile, more than 8.71 million people are fully vaccinated, accounting for 87% of the adult population in Belgium, and 76% of the total population.

Almost 2.1 million people have received a booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine, including people from certain vulnerable groups and healthcare workers, to keep the protection against the coronavirus sufficiently high. The majority of adults should have had the opportunity to get a booster dose by March 2022.

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