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Slight increase in new coronavirus cases continues

Credit: Belga

The number of people testing positive per day in Belgium is slowly continuing to increase, according to the latest official figures published by the Sciensano public health institute on Wednesday.

From 18 to 24 April, the number of new coronavirus cases reported was 3,502, up by 1% from the 7-day average of the week before.

The total number of confirmed cases in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is 979,034. This reflects those who have been infected, all confirmed active cases, and those who have since recovered or died as a result of the virus.

Over the past two weeks, 425.3 infections were confirmed per 100,000 inhabitants, a 10% decrease compared to the two weeks before.

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Belgium’s reproduction rate, meanwhile, is continuing to drop, and now stands at 0.90, its lowest in weeks. This means that one person with coronavirus infects on average fewer than one other person and that the epidemic is slowly retreating in Belgium.

From 18 to 24 April, an average number of 39 deaths occurred per day, up by 5.8% from the seven-day average of the week before. This brings the total number of deaths in the country since the beginning of the pandemic to 24,104.

Between 21 and 27 April, an average of 210.4 patients was admitted to the hospital per day, which is 10.3 fewer than the average of the week before, and down by 11% from the previous week’s average.

The total number of coronavirus patients in hospitals on Tuesday was 2,858, down by 94 from the day before. Of this total, 892 patients were in intensive care units, the same as the day before. Meanwhile, 527 patients were on a ventilator, up by 7 since the previous day.

The reopening of terraces and the ending of the curfew on 8 May depends, in part, on the improvement of the situation in hospitals, however, according to virologist Marc Van Ranst, it remains to be seen whether or not the pressure on the hospitals and their intensive care units will be reduced sufficiently by this point.

Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 12,363,941 tests have been carried out. Of those tests, an average of 44,008.6 was taken per day over the past week, with a positivity rate of 8.9%.

This percentage is down 0.9% since last week’s seven-day average while testing increased by 10%.

As of 27 April, a total of 2,748,282 people in Belgium have received at least one dose of the vaccine against Covid-19, or 29.9% of the population aged 18 and older.

In addition, 754,153 people – or 8.2% of the adult population – have been fully vaccinated.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times