Mourad ALLILI

Coronavirus: 7-day average for new infections still falling despite sharp increase in new infections since the start of the week

The public health science institute Sciensano has released the latest figures on the coronavirus pandemic in Belgium. Although the 7-day average (for the week up to and including 27 December) for new infections is down on the previous week, the figures show significant increases in the number of new infections recorded on Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 December. Meanwhile, hospitalisations and deaths of people with COVID-19 continue to fall. 

During the week from 21 to 27 December an average of 7,039 people in Belgium tested positive for coronavirus each day. This is down 6% on the 7-day average for the previous week (14 to 20 December). Although the 7-day average for new infections is still falling the fall is less pronounced than it has been in recent weeks. This is because since the start of the week the dominance of the omicron variant has meant that the daily tally of coronavirus infections recorded has risen sharply.

During the week from 21 to 27 December an average of 64,898 coronavirus tests were carried out each day. This is down 10% on the previous week. Of those tested 11.8% tested positive for coronavirus. This is down 0.4 percentage points on the positivity rate for the previous week. During the week from 21 to 27 December the basic reproductive rate (R0) for coronavirus stood at 0.91. This means that every 100 people with the virus infected an average of a further 91 others.

Meanwhile, the number of people with COVID-19 that are being admitted to the country’s hospitals continues to fall. During the week from 24 to 30 December an average of 135 patients with COVID-19 were admitted to the country’s hospitals each day. This is down 15% on the previous week. On Thursday the country’s hospitals reported that they are caring for a total of 1,812 patients with COVID-19, a fall of 18% on a week ago. Of those hospitalised 536 are intensive care (-19%). 318 ICU patients with COVID-19 are on ventilators (-17%).

The average daily death toll of people with COVID-19 in Belgium is also down. During the week from 20 to 26 December an average of 30 people with COVID-19 died in Belgium each day. This is 16% down on the average for the previous week. Since the onset of the pandemic 28,308 people with COVID-19 have died here in Belgium.

So far 8,906,949 people in Belgium have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine. Of these 8,906,949 people have been fully immunised. This is 76% of the entire population. 4,259,813 people (37% of the whole population) have already received an additional “booster” jab. 

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