Coronavirus: around 60,000 new infections on Monday and Tuesday, more than 2,700 COVID-19 patients hospitalised

The public health science institute Sciensano has released the latest figures on the coronavirus pandemic in Belgium. They show a further sharp rise in the number of people testing positive for the virus. Meanwhile, the number of people with COVID-19 that are hospitalised is also up. However, the number of COVID-19 patients that are so ill that they have been admitted to ICUs continues to fall.  

During the week from 11 to 17 January an average of 31,780 people in Belgium tested positive for coronavirus each day. This is a rise of 34% on the figures for the previous week. The 7-day average is expected to rise even more sharply during the coming days as on Monday 61,925 people tested positive and Tuesday’s (as yet incomplete) figures show 59,164 positive test results.

Since Monday 10 January a new testing strategy has been in force under which people that have been immunized against coronavirus and have had a high-risk contact no longer are obliged to undergo a PCR test for coronavirus. During the week from 11 to 17 January an average of 88,100 coronavirus tests were carried out in Belgium each day. Of those tested 36.7% tested positive for the virus. The basic reproductive rate (R0) for coronavirus stood at 1.27. This means that every 100 people with the virus infected an average of a further 127 others.

Hospitalisations and deaths

During the week from 14 to 20 January an average of 255 people with COVID-19 were hospitalised each day. This is 39% more than during the previous week. On Thursday 20 January the country’s hospitals reported that they had a total of 2,736 patients with COVID-19 on their wards. This is 34% more than a week ago. Nevertheless, the number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs continues to fall. On Thursday there were 367 COVID-19 patients on the intensive care wards of Belgian hospitals, a fall of 10% on a week ago.

During the week from 11 to 17 January an average of 21 people with COVID-19 died in Belgium each day. This is 13% up on the previous week. Since the onset of the pandemic 28,759 people with COVID-19 have died in Belgium. 


By Wednesday 19 January 9,034,213 people in Belgium had received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine. Of these 8,840,933 people had been fully immunized. 

This is 77% of the entire population. 6,114,134 people had received an additional so-called “booster jab”. This is 53% of the population of Belgium.


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