“In reality, we are between 200,000 and 300,000 new infections per day”, indicates Geert Molenberghs

Between January 20 and 26, there were an average of 336 patients admitted to hospital and positive for Covid-19, an increase of 44% compared to the previous reporting period. A total of 3,583 people positive for Sars-Cov 2 are currently staying in hospital (+39%), including 352 patients treated in intensive care (-9%), said Thursday Sciensano, the Institute of Public Health.

Despite this continuing decline in intensive care admissions, the average number of daily infections has crossed the 50,000 mark. Between January 17 and 23, 50,110 new Sars-CoV-2 contaminations were detected on average per day, an increase of 77% compared to the previous week. Nearly 98.2% of cases are attributed to the Omicron variant.

But what is it really? Our colleagues from HLN asked Geert Molenberghs the question. For the biostatistician, the new infections are significantly higher than those announced by Sciensano.

“Last week we carried out several days of 140,000 tests and that is more or less the maximum we can manage. We are already at around 75,000 new cases last Monday. That’s huge if you can only do 140,000 tests. The positivity rate is also very high. This means that in addition to confirmed infections, there are still a multitude of unconfirmed infections,” he explains.

Geert Molenberghs adds that with 75,000 new confirmed contaminations per day, this number must be multiplied up to four times to get the real number of daily cases. The result would therefore be an average of 300,000 infections per day.

The expert nevertheless suspects that we are approaching a peak: “Last week the figures were probably around 200,000 infections per day, now they are up to 300,000 per day. This means that in a week or two, a large part of the population will indeed have had an infection. And it is true that it will stop at some point”.


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