Covid-19: Hospitalisations continue to climb

Covid-19: Hospitalisations continue to climb
Credit: Belga

A total of 3,821 coronavirus patients are currently being treated in Belgian hospitals – an increase of 34%, according to data reported by Sciensano, the Public Health Institute, on Saturday morning.

That amounts to about 354.7 patients admitted to the hospital and positive for Covid-19 per day between January 22 and 28.

The number of those patients being treated in intensive care units (ICU) stands at 371, a rise of 2% just since yesterday, though ICU admission rates are said to be relatively stable overall.

Most of the 52,294 new cases (over 98% of them) currently being detected in the country per day are the new Omicron variant, which while faster-spreading than previous ones, appears to be less severe.

Serious effect on job absenteeism

But in Brussels, the number of Covid-19 cases could be much higher than figures show.

The high number of people home sick with the virus is causing serious staffing issues in a multitude of sectors, from businesses and food production to education and childcare.

Credit: Belga

New testing strategy

In Belgium as a whole, the number of new coronavirus infections being recorded on a daily basis have risen by 45% over the previous week. But just as in Brussels, this too could be an underestimation, due in part to the changed testing strategy.

In the same period, an average of 25.3 persons died per day after testing positive (+14%).

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The rate of positivity is 46.3%, with almost 120,000 tests having been performed in the last week.

The virus reproduction rate is 1.18 (-12%). When higher than 1, this indicator means that the epidemic tends to accelerate.

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