Coronavirus: new infections still on the rise, Flanders hard hit (infographic)

Antwerp is the Belgian province with the most new cases.

LNew coronavirus infections continue to increase. Between December 9 and December 15, there were 2,519 new infections on average per day, up 15% from the previous seven-day period, according to the epidemiological report from the Sciensano Public Health Institute published on Saturday.

In absolute numbers, it was by far the province of Antwerp that detected the most cases over the same period, with 3,073 new cases. East Flanders (2,921), West Flanders (2,603) and Hainaut (2,169) follow. In terms of percentage, it is also the province of Antwerp which experiences the greatest increase (+ 29%), followed by West Flanders (+ 25%) as well as the provinces of Namur and East Flanders (+ 23% each).

Between December 9 and 15, 245,778 tests were carried out, for a daily average of 35,111 tests. The average rate of positivity remains stable at 8.2%. The provinces of Antwerp and East Flanders are by far the ones that test the most, with more than 41,000 tests carried out between December 9 and 15. West Flanders, for its part, carried out more than 35,000 tests. In contrast, the province of Namur only achieved 7,710, that of Walloon Brabant 5,984 and that of Luxembourg 5,491.

Looking at the number of tests carried out per 100,000 inhabitants, it appears that Flanders is testing more, all of its provinces showing more than 2,000 tests carried out per 100,000 inhabitants while the Walloon provinces are all below this threshold, as well as the Brussels Region.

The incidence rate, which reflects the number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants, reached 153.4 for the period between December 9 and 15. In one week, this incidence increased by 14.8%. Since the start of the pandemic, 621,039 cases of Covid-19 have been diagnosed in Belgium.

The reproduction rate of the virus greater than 1

Between December 9 and 15, the virus killed an average of 93.6 people per day (-4%), bringing the toll to 18,455 deaths from Covid-19 in Belgium since the start of the pandemic. Of the 655 deaths reported during this period, 384 nursing home residents succumbed to Covid-19, of whom 279 were killed in the nursing home and 105 in hospital. Since the start of the epidemic, 56% of victims have died in hospital and 43% in nursing homes.

Between December 12 and December 18, hospitalizations remained relatively stable, with 185.9 (+ 1%) admissions on average per day. Yesterday / Friday, 2,618 beds were occupied at the hospital by patients with Covid-19 (-10% in one week), of which 546 were in intensive care (-15% in one week). In intensive care, 335 patients required respiratory support and 52 required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) which provides, in addition to respiratory support, cardiac support.

The virus reproduction rate (Rt), calculated on the basis of the number of hospitalizations, is 1.01 nationally, according to a median estimate. When this indicator exceeds the value of 1, the epidemic is considered to be increasing.

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