More than 70% of all adults in Belgium have been fully vaccinated, as the third phase of the summer plan, which will see larger events being allowed, kicks in on Friday.
More than 6.49 million people (70.1% of the adult population of Belgium) have received a second dose and are now considered fully protected, according to the latest figures from Sciensano Health Institute published on Friday morning.
Meanwhile, 83.3% of the adult population in Belgium had received the first injection of a coronavirus vaccine. This figure equates to just over 7.96 million people.
As part of this new phase, indoor events can again be held with 3,000 visitors, and outdoor events with 5,000 visitors, whilst the restrictions on the maximum number of customers in shops and shopping centres will disappear, and access control will no longer be compulsory there.
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Just as this new phase begins, the number of new coronavirus cases has slowly started to decline, as between 20 and 26 July, an average of 1,469 new coronavirus infections were detected per day, a 4% increase from the average of the previous week.
The daily average of testing over the past week decreased by 20% (a daily average of 58,183.1 tests were carried out), however, the positivity rate has continued to increase to 2.8%, the highest it has been in months.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 1,122,951 cases of coronavirus infection have been diagnosed in Belgium.
During the same period, the average number of deaths due to the virus increased by 114% and now sits at a daily average of 2.1, bringing the total to 25,235 deaths since the start of the pandemic in Belgium.
Between 23 and 29 July, there was an average of 33.1 new hospital admissions per day due to the coronavirus, a 23% increase compared to the previous reference period.
On Thursday, a total of 318 (seven more than on Wednesday) people were in hospital as a result of the coronavirus, of whom 93 (-3) people were being treated in intensive care, and 45 people (-4) were on a ventilator. Most people being hospitalised reportedly haven't been fully vaccinated.
The incidence, which indicates the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants over 14 days, is continuing to increase, albeit slightly less quickly, and has now risen by 59% since the last 14-day period, sitting at 175.3.
The reproduction rate of the coronavirus has increased slightly to 1.18 after dropping to 1.08 on Tuesday. This figure is the average number of people infected by an infected person. When the figure is higher than 1, it means the pandemic is gathering pace in Belgium.
The Brussels Times