“We’re looking at a week-on-week increase of up to 30%”

Statistician Bart De Mesuere notes the increase in the number of new cases is continuing and the figures seem to be heading for an increase of between 20% and 30% a week.

The number of tests coming back positive is on the rise because there are more cases and because fewer tests are being carried out.  He believes 6.5% of cases will come back positive soon.  

The biostatistician isn’t surprised by rising numbers. 

“We’ve seen this plateau since November.  It’s the fourth time we revert from a decrease to an increase or the other way around.  We’re moving up and down.  For the phase we are in this isn’t at all abnormal.”

Geert Molenberghs (Hasselt and Antwerp Universities) hasn’t got an oven ready explanation for the increase, but suggests the Kent variant that is more contagious could play a role.  He also notes an increase among the young.

“But we are expecting a beneficial effect from the holidays.  That isn’t yet visible.” 

“It’s also encouraging that we are taking leave of the most difficult season.  The most difficult season for coronaviruses is December through February.  The vaccination drive will slowly start to show in the figures.  Until then we have to get through a period in which the British variant is a challenge.”

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