The vaccination centre at the Heysel site is up and running, but is facing small numbers of new vaccines.

Corona statistics are taking a turn for the worse

The trend that was started earlier this week, is being continued as the average number of new Covid cases is up again, 19 percent to be precise. In some places like Ghent the rise is a staggering 70 percent. Meanwhile, the number of hospital admissions is also climbing again, after having been relatively stable for some weeks. 

124 patients were admitted to hospital each day on average between 17 and 23 February. This number is 5 percent up on the week. Yesterday, 152 people had to be hospitalised due to Covid-19.

There are 1,707 corona patients staying in Belgian hospitals now. 355 of them are in intensive care units, 176 of them are on ventilators.

The number of new infections continues to rise: between 14 and 20 February there were 2,171 confirmed new cases each day, which is 19 percent up on the week. In the Ghent area, this is even a staggering 70 percent, probably due to the more infectious British variant. "We have to stay on the alert, we haven't beaten the virus yet", says the Ghent Alderman Rudy Coddens. "We are monitoring the situation closely".  

Earlier, virologist Steven Van Gucht said that 6 percent of those developing Covid symptoms, are ending up in hospital. The number of hospital admissions is bound to rise further in the coming days. 

6 percent of those infected are ending up in hospital

The rise in new infections comes after the February school holidays, which is a concern for virologists. It was hoped that the figures would have cooled down with the schools closed. However, the rise is most outspoken in the age categories between 20 and 60 years of age. Maybe the more infectious 'British variant' is already playing a role here. 

There is some good news about the nuber of corona deaths: with an average of 34 fatalities per day, this number is 11 percent down on the week. 

In the meantime, 416,129 Belgians have been vaccinated (or have at least received a first jab). This is 4,51 percent of the adult Belgian population. Belgian is faced with a shortage of vaccines as AstraZeneca and Moderna have (temporarily) cut down their deliveries, triggering anger with the Flemish Welfare Minister Wouter Beke who has to adapt vaccination schemes continuously. 

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