6 out of 10 travelers have been tested, for some countries, the positivity rate is approaching 10%

This was one of the big concerns last week: according to the Sciensano report, only 37% of travelers returning from the red zone between December 19 and January 3 had been tested on their return.

Inge Neven, head of the Hygiene Inspection Service at Cocom put forward a technical explanation: “The person has to indicate their NISS number (National Register number) in their PLF and also in their test so that the data is linked, which is not always the case.

In the report of this Friday, January 15, the figures have improved. :

  • The number of red zone returns has decreased : the new data indeed concerns returns between January 4 and 10, the week of the start of the school year. 67,781 returned from the red zone during this period (against 150,000 during the holidays).
  • The percentage of tested travelers increased : 58.9% at least have been tested. To which must therefore be added the people who have been tested but have not been able to provide a national register number to connect their test to the completed “Passenger Locator Form”.
  • Most travelers to Brussels : 26.708, so more than a third lived in the Brussels region. And among them, only 54% got tested, according to the report. This is explained by the fact that a greater number of inhabitants are foreigners and do not have a national register number to link their test to the PLF.
  • A “national” positivity rate of 3.6% : 3? 6% of these red zone return tests were positive, with regional disparities. So, 4,4% des Hainuyers tested positive upon their return.

Sciensano also provides in its report the origin and the positivity rate by country of travelers:

  • A majority of returns from France and Spain : it was by far the most frequent country of origin with 12,209 travelers returning from France and 10,170 from Spain. And lower than average positivity rates for them (2.4 and 2.7%)
  • Almost zero rate in Greece : only 0.4% of the 1238 travelers returning from Greece tested positive.
  • A high rate in Poland, Turkey, the Emirates, very high in Romania : the highest rate of positive tests is observed in Romania: 9.4% of the 3,969 travelers.

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