Number of Covid-19 patients in Belgian hospitals stabilises, deaths continue to rise

As the number of Covid-19 patients admitted to hospital has started to decrease, the pressure on intensive care units continues to rise and the number of deaths has gone up sharply according to Sciensano’s latest figures on Friday.

Between 27 October and 2 November, an average of 13,213.4 new people tested positive per day over the past week, which is a 16% decrease compared to the week before.

The total number of confirmed cases in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic is 479,341. The total reflects all people in Belgium who have been infected, and includes confirmed active cases as well as patients who have since recovered, or died as a result of the virus.

Over the past two weeks, 1,758.1 infections were confirmed per 100,000 inhabitants, an increase of 67% compared to the two weeks before.

Between 29 October and 5 November, an average of 663.1 patients was admitted to hospital, up from a daily average of 640.8 the week before.

In total, 7,282 coronavirus patients are currently admitted to hospital, 123 fewer than yesterday, meaning the number of patients in hospital is starting to decrease. Of those patients, 1,428 are currently in intensive care, which is 16 more than the day before. Patients on a ventilator number 822 – 30 more than yesterday.

From 27 October to 2 November, an average number of 159.4 deaths occurred per day, almost twice as many as the during the week before (20 to 26 October), when an average of 81 deaths were recorded per day.

The total number of deaths in the country since the beginning of the pandemic is currently 12,520 – 189 more than yesterday.

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Since the start of the pandemic, a total of over 5.2 million tests have been carried out. Of those tests, 56,200 were taken over the past week, with a positivity rate of 27.8%. This means that over a quarter of the people who get tested receive a positive result.

The percentage went up from 26.4% last week, and coincides with a 15% fall in the number of tests being carried out, after the authorities decided not to test patients with no symptoms.

Since 21 October, only people with coronavirus symptoms are being tested. That means that some new infections, which used to be detected, are missing in the statistics, Sciensano said. The public health institute will use statistical models to calculate those infections that are not registered under the new testing strategy.

The reproduction rate, meanwhile, has been coming down since 23 October, and now stands at 1.04. That rate (Rt) is the rate at which the virus spreads. Until it comes down below 1.0, the virus is continuing to grow in the population.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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