The number of new coronavirus infections has again started to rise in Belgium after more than six(6) weeks of this figure decreasing rapidly.
As per the figures published by the Sciensano Public Health Institute on Friday morning, between 1 & 7 March, an average of 6,930 new coronavirus infections were identified every day, a 15% increase in the last seven days.
Moreover, the Omicron BA.2 variant accounts for 59.1% of all cases, taking over from the Omicron variant (40.9%), while the Delta variant has completely disappeared in the country.
Meanwhile, the average number of PCR tests taken per day in the same period declined by 11% to 32,939,7. The positivity rate now sits at 22.4%, meaning that almost one in four tests has a positive result.
Despite this increase, experts stated that there is no reason to worry yet. They even added this evolution was expected due to the lifting of the measures in February when Belgium issued a code orange, and again at the start of this week when it switched to code yellow.
Virologist Marc Van Ranst expects this figure to reach a plateau, and that it will then see a rise again, but he welcomed the fact that the number of deaths is still dropping and “the number of people in intensive care is now even below 200.”
At the same time, an average of 16.7 COVID-19 patients died on a regular basis, down by 25% since last week. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Belgium’s total number of deaths has amounted to 30,380.
The official death statistics also include people who died of another cause of death, but who happened to be infected, meaning they are an overestimate of the deaths caused by the virus.