Twice the number coronavirus infections, hospitalisations are up 24%

The public health science institute Sciensano has released the latest figures on the coronavirus pandemic. They show a doubling in the 7-day average for new infections. Meanwhile, the number of hospitalisations of people with COVID-19 has also started to rise again. 

During the week from 28 December to 3 January an average of 13,815 people tested positive for coronavirus each day. This is a rise of 96% on the average for the previous week (21 to 27 December). On Monday 3 January 27,496 people tested positive for coronavirus in Belgium. Never before were so many positive test results recorded on the same day. Tuesday’s figures (that are still incomplete) seem set to be higher still.

The virologist Professor Steven Van Gucht says that effect of the Christmas and New Year festivities and the upsurge of the omicron variant have combined to fuel a sharp rise in the infection figures.

During the week from 28 December and 3 January an average of 68,386 coronavirus tests were carried out in Belgium each day. This is 5% up on the previous week. Of those tested 19.9% tested positive for the virus, a rise of 8.1% on the previous week. The basic reproductive rate (R0) for coronavirus in Belgium currently stands at 1.15. This is 24% higher than it was a week ago. 

Hospitalisations and deaths

The 7-day average for hospital admissions is up too. During the week from 31 December to 6 January an average of 172 patients with COVID-19 were hospitalised each day. This is 28% up on the average number of admissions during the previous week. On Thursday the country’s hospitals reported that they had a total of 1,883 patients with COVID-19. This is up 4% on the figures from a week earlier.

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 patients on ICUs has fallen by 12% since Thursday 30 December. There are now 474 patients with COVID-19 on the intensive care wards of Belgian hospitals. Of these 264 are on ventilators, a fall of 17% on a week ago.

The fall in the number of people with COVID-19 that are dying continues. During the week from 28 December to 3 January an average of 23 people with COVID-19 died in Belgium each day. This is down 25% on the 7-day average for the previous week. Since the onset of the pandemic 28,446 people with COVID-19 have died here. 

Vaccinations

So far 8,918,355 people in Belgium have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine. 8,808,224 people (76% of the entire population) have been fully immunized. 4,719,997 people in Belgium (41% of the population) have received an additional “booster” jab.

 

 

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