The number of new coronavirus cases being recorded in Belgium is continuing to drop, however, the pace at which it is decreasing is starting to slow down.
Between 20 and 26 December, an average of 6,446 new coronavirus infections were identified every day, down by 21% from the previous seven days, according to figures published by the Sciensano Public Health Institute on Thursday morning.
Although an overall decline is still being recorded here, this is a slight increase from Wednesday’s average. This reversing of a rapid slowing down is likely due to the Omicron variant, which has become the dominant strain in Belgium.
The number of tests taken in the same period decreased, by 12% since last week, to 63,990.3. Meanwhile, the positivity rate has also dropped, now sitting at 11%.
During the same period, the number of people dying as a result of the virus also declined, by 16%, with an average of 31 Covid-19 patients dying per day. This brings the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in Belgium to 28,267.
Between 23 and 29 December, an average of 132.1 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals per day, a 20% decrease since the last seven days.
On Wednesday, a total of 1,870 people were in hospitals due to an infection (33 fewer than on Tuesday), including 566 Covid-19 patients that were being treated in intensive care (-15), with 337 on a ventilator (-11).
The reproduction rate (Rt) has slightly increased to 0.86. 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 slightly risen since Wednesday and now sits at 887 over the past 14 days.
As of Tuesday, more than 8.79 million people are fully vaccinated, accounting for 88% of the adult population in Belgium, and 76% of the total population.
Meanwhile, almost 4.18 million people have received a booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine, representing 45% of over -18s and 36% of the entire population. The majority of adults should have had the opportunity to get a booster dose by March 2022.