Almost 28,000 new Covid-19 cases are being recorded on average in Belgium, while the number of patients being hospitalised due to an infection is continuing to rise.
Between 9 and 15 January, an average of 27,761 new coronavirus infections were identified every day – up by 27% on the previous seven days, a slightly slower increase than seen in earlier weeks, according to the figures published by the Sciensano Public Health Institute on Wednesday morning.
Last week, more than 30,000 new infections were recorded on five out of the seven days.
The average number of tests taken per day in the same period increased by just 3% since last week, sitting at around 86,677.4, however, the positivity rate continues to rapidly increase, and now sits at 34.3%, meaning more than one in three tests undertaken are now positive.
Despite the increase in cases starting around Christmas, Covid-19 deaths remain relatively stable. During the same period, an average of 20.6 Covid-19 patients died per day, up by 15% since last week. Total deaths in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic amount to 28,695.
Hospitalisations continuing to rise
Between 12 and 18 January, an average of 218 patients suffering from Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals per day – up 21% on the seven days previous.
On Tuesday, a total of 2,417 people were in Belgian hospitals due to an infection (94 more than on Monday), of whom 391 (-5) are being treated in intensive care and 201 are on a ventilator (-16). Overall, a declining trend is still ongoing in the number of patients in a life-threatening condition.
The reproduction rate (Rt) has once again increased to 1.15. 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) continues to rise and now sits at 3,018 over the past 14 days.
As of Monday, more than 8.83 million people are fully vaccinated – 88% of Belgium’s adult population and 77% of the total population.
Meanwhile, some 5.95 million people have received a booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine, representing 64% of over-18s and 52% of the entire population. The majority of adults should have had the opportunity to get a booster dose by March 2022.
Data from the United Kingdom’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA) showed that booster doses continue to provide high levels of protection against severe disease from the Omicron variant among older adults. Additional doses have been found to be 90% effective against hospitalisation around three months after being administered.