All the indicators concerning the coronavirus in Belgium are finally back to green on Wednesday, November 18: contamination and hospital admissions continue to fall, but above all the number of people hospitalized, especially in intensive care, is dropping significantly, and the average number of deaths, which had been falling in recent days, is now showing a decline when compared to the previous week.
2734 new cases were detected within 24 hours. On average, from November 8 to 14, there were 4804 daily cases, a decrease of 39% compared to the previous 7 days. But that must be seen in conjunction with the 27% drop in the number of tests, which was less than 30,000 per day during this period. A drop that according to experts is not due only to the strategy of no longer testing asymptomatic.
The test positivity rate, i.e. the proportion of positive people out of all those tested, remains high: it now reaches 19,5% on average between 8 and 14 November nationally, with significant variations by region. But he too is influenced by the testing strategy, which is due to take a new turn next week.
The number of hospital admissions due to Covid-19 also continues to decrease, on a fairly regular basis: there has been 364 new admissions in 24 hours and the average now stands at 405,7 per day on average between November 11 and November 17. But above all, the number of people discharged from the hospital being 650, the pressure on hospitals is decreasing, from 6,580 to 6,264 beds occupied for Covid-19. The decrease is therefore there, but it is much slower than the meteoric increase observed in October, going from less than 800 to almost 8,000 in one month of time.
Good news, however: this time, this decongestion is also felt in intensive care, with a decrease from 1408 to 1359 patients treated for coronavirus. This is particularly noticeable in the services of Brussels, which had a record of 210 beds occupied in intensive care, and which are back to 189 patients. However, we remain beyond the occupation of 1,200 Belgian beds for Covid patients which had been planned before the launch of phase 2B, which shows that the pressure remains high.
Another encouraging sign: despite 223 new deaths recorded in 24 hours, the daily average number of deaths continues the decrease seen in recent days, dropping to 184 deaths per day and we observe for the first time a decreasing trend compared to the previous week (– 4,6%). This remains enormous, but fortunately we also seem to have reached a plateau with the 216 deaths of November 6. The descent is slow, however, and the death toll will extend for several weeks at least.
14.839 people died from Covid in Belgium, including more than 5,000 during this second wave.