Steven Van Gucht: "Never before had so much coronavirus circulated in our country, more than 30,000 infections per day"


“Never before has so much coronavirus circulated in our country.” This is what virologist Steven Van Gucht said at the weekly press conference about the corona situation in our country. The corona figures in our country are still going up steeply, but that increase is slowly starting to decrease. “Fortunately,” said Van Gucht.

Guy Stevens

Today at 11:05

“We are still in the rising phase of the fifth wave, with more than 30,000 infections per day,” said Van Gucht. “Never before has so much coronavirus circulated in our country. Fortunately, the pace seems to be slowing down. Fortunately, the number of patients in intensive care has continued to fall, which means that the situation in hospitals remains manageable.”

The high number of positive tests – 28 percent – indicates that the actual number may be much higher than known, says Van Gucht. “The increases continue to be seen in all age groups, but the largest increases are seen in teens aged 10 to 17. Until now, those were still the twenties. In the foreseeable future, the teens will take over from the twenties and they will spread the virus the most.”

The increase in the number of infections is greatest in Flanders, but Brussels and Wallonia also have many infections. The omikron variant accounts for 88 percent of all infections. ‘For the time being, we do not see omikron replacing the delta variant. We are also seeing an increase in the flu virus, but there is no sign of a flu epidemic yet,” said the virologist.

The numbers

The figures from Sciensano showed on Friday that an average of 23,642 new infections were registered daily between 4 and 10 January. That is an increase of 71 percent compared to the previous period. On Thursday there was still an 88 percent increase in the infection figures and on Wednesday it was an increase of 96 percent.

About 86,900 tests were taken per day, an increase of 27 percent on a weekly basis. The positivity ratio is 28 percent. During the same period, there were an average of 19 deaths per day. That is an 18 percent decrease. Between 7 and 13 January, an average of 183 corona patients were admitted to Belgian hospitals per day, an increase of 7 percent. There are currently 2,040 Covid patients (+9 percent) in hospitals, of whom 406 are in intensive care (-14 percent). The reproduction number is 1.04. If that figure is above 1, the pandemic will intensify.

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