The number of new coronavirus cases in Belgium continues to skyrocket and preliminary figures show the highest number of new infections was recorded on Monday since the start of the pandemic.
Between 27 December and 2 January, an average of 11,778 new coronavirus infections were identified every day – up by 82% on the previous seven days, according to figures published by the Sciensano Public Health Institute on Thursday morning.
The dashboard indicates that the peak was reached on 30 December with 16,031 new cases recorded on that day, however, preliminary figures for Monday 3 January (that have not yet been consolidated) indicate 27,199 new cases were recorded, which would be the highest number since the start of the pandemic in Belgium.
Belgium’s Consultative Committee will meet on Thursday morning to reassess the coronavirus situation and evaluate the measures currently in effect in light of the rapid rise in the number of new cases.
The average number of tests taken per day in the same period is slightly up (+5%) from last week, sitting at around 67,177.7. However, the positivity rate has increased more rapidly, now sitting at 18.4% (+7.4%); it is expected to rise further.
The decline in Covid-19 deaths continues. During the same period, an average of 23.4 Covid-19 patients died per day, down 26% since last week. Total deaths in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is 28,429.
Stable situation in ICU
Between 30 December and 5 January, an average of 169.3 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals per day – up 28% on the seven days previous. On Monday, 217 new patients were admitted to hospitals due to an infection.
On Wednesday, a total of 1,882 people were in Belgian hospitals due to an infection (11 fewer than on Tuesday). A small decrease of 34 patients can be seen in the number of people being treated in intensive care (470), while a clear decrease can also be seen in the number of people on a ventilator (272, down by 11).
The reproduction rate (Rt) has shot up to 1.16. This figure represents the average number of people that contract the virus from each infected person, and when it is above 1, it means that the epidemic is gaining ground in Belgium.
The incidence (the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants) has risen to 1,108 over the past 14 days after dropping to just over 850 last week.
As of Monday, more than 8.8 million people are fully vaccinated – 88% of Belgium’s adult population and 76% of the total population.
Meanwhile, some 4.57 million people have received a booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine, representing 49% of over -18s and 40% of the entire population. The majority of adults should have had the opportunity to get a booster dose by March 2022.