Number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals and ICU continues to slowly decline

Number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals and ICU continues to slowly decline
Covid intensive care, Sint-Vincentius hospital Antwerp, 2020. Credit: Jimmy Kets/Belga

Although the coronavirus situation in hospitals remains precarious, a slight improvement continues to be recorded in the number of Covid-19 hospitalisations and intensive care unit admissions.

Between 9 and 15 December, an average of 253.7 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals per day, an 11% decrease since the last seven days, according to figures published by the Sciensano Public Health Institute on Thursday morning.

On Wednesday, a total of 3,120 people were in hospitals due to an infection (138 fewer than on Tuesday), including 804 Covid-19 patients that were being treated in intensive care (-9), with 442 on a ventilator (-22).

The number of new cases being recorded is also continuing to drop. Between 6 and 12 December, an average of 12,672 new coronavirus infections were identified every day, down by 24% from the previous seven days.

However, the number of tests taken in the same period also decreased, by 18% since last week, to 89,323.6. The positivity rate has also dropped and now sits at 15.8%.

During the same period, the number of people dying as a result of the virus also slowly decreased, with an average of 44.7 Covid-19 patients dying per day. This brings the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in Belgium to 27,729.

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The reproduction rate (Rt) has dropped even further to 0.91. This figure represents the average number of people that contract the virus from each infected person, and when it is lower than 1, it means that the epidemic is slowing down in Belgium.

The incidence, which indicates the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants, has decreased by 14% and now sits at 1,787 over the past 14 days.

As of Tuesday, more than 8.74 million people are fully vaccinated, accounting for 88% of the adult population in Belgium, and 76% of the total population.

Meanwhile, almost 2.9 million people have received a booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine, representing 31% of over -18s and 25% of the entire population. The majority of adults should have had the opportunity to get a booster dose by March 2022.


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