First the good news: the hike in new infections that we saw in recent days, is slowing down. Official figures supplied by the health institute Sciensano are talking of 1,352 new cases per day between 12 and 18 July, a rise of 27 percent on the week. Each day, almost 72,000 tests are being carried out, with 2,1 percent testing positive. This being said, the reproduction number stands at 1.24. This means that the pandemic is growing, as 100 new cases trigger 124 cases.
The bad news is that the number of hospital admissions is un the up, and fast. The rolling average for daily hospital admissions between 15 and 21 July was 27, which is a 57 percent rise on the week. It is especially younger people ending up in hospital: 68 percent is younger than 60. One third of those ending up in hospital are in their forties or fifties, one in four are aged between 20 and 40 - last spring, the latter accounted for only 10 percent of new admissions. Virologist Steven Van Gucht of Sciensano says that hospital admissions are especially up in Brussels, probably because the vaccination rate is lower in the capital.
On 13 and 17 July, no fatalities were reported as a result of Covid-19. The daily average for the past week stands at 1 per day.
Meanwhile, the vaccination campaign is cruising. Last Tuesday, almost 83 percent of the adult population in Belgium had received at least one jab. If you take into account the whole population, this is just short of 68 percent.