The growth of the Omicron variant is now a visible fact in Belgium, Covid-19 inter-federal spokesperson Yves Van Laethem confirmed on Friday at a press conference.
The newest and highly contagious variant of the coronavirus was found in 72% of samples, according to Belga News Agency, and the weekly averages are predicted to start increasing again from the beginning of 2022 as the country enters a fifth wave of the virus.
“There are still many uncertainties about the impact of Omicron on hospital occupancy,” Van Laethem said.
Currently, 536 people are in intensive care beds in Belgian hospitals, which saw an average of 134.6 hospital admissions per day over the last week.
While that’s a decrease of 15% compared to the previous week, health authorities expect all figures to rise next week, in part due to the spread of the new variant.
WHO’s Director-General dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned that “Omicron being more transmissible, circulating at the same time as Delta – is leading to a tsunami of cases.”
Over one million cases of the coronavirus were recorded in a single day on Wednesday, a grim milestone for the world as the pandemic continues.