COVID-19: hospitalisations and deaths continue to fall

The public health science institute Sciensano has released the latest figures relating to the coronavirus pandemic in Belgium. While they show further falls in the 7-day rolling averages for the number of deaths and hospitalisation of people with the virus, they also show a sharp rise in the number of people testing positive for coronavirus. 

The figures for the average number of positive tests each day between 2 and 8 January are up by 27% on the previous week. However, the week between 26 December and 1 January included a public holiday and people were less inclined to get tested. Furthermore, during the week between 2 and 8 January many thousands of people returned to Belgium from Red Zone countries and were tested for coronavirus. These two factors combined mean that the average number of coronavirus tests carried out between each day 2 and 8 January was 59% higher than what it was during the previous week. 

The Ghent University (UGent) statistician Bart Mesuere says that the big increase (+59%) in the number of coronavirus tests carried out makes it difficult to interpret the figures on the number of people testing positive. Dr Mesuere says that currently the only objective indicator is the number of COVID-19 patients in our country’s hospitals, and this is still falling. 

The figures

During the week from 2 to 8 January an average of 2,020 people in Belgium tested positive for coronavirus each day. This is 27% up on the figures for the previous week. During the same period an average of 40,200 tests were carried out each day, a rise of 59% on the previous week. Of those tested 5.5% tested positive for the virus.

During the week from 5 to 11 January an average of 127 COVID-19 patients were admitted to Belgian hospitals each day. This is down 9% on the previous week. On Monday 11 January 92 COVID-19 patients were admitted to Belgian hospitals, 36 patients were discharged. There are currently 2,020 COVID-19 patients being cared for in Belgian hospitals. Of these 378 are on intensive care wards and 195 are on ventilators.  

The average number of people with COVID-19 that are dying each day continues to fall sharply. During the week from 2 to 8 January an average of 53 people with COVID-19 died each day. This is down 21% on the previous week.  

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