Omicron is now the dominant variant of the coronavirus in Belgium. Clinical biologist Emmanuel André of the Catholic University of Leuven reports that omicron accounts for 60 percent of the infections in the country, compared to only 41 percent before the weekend.
André expects that the number of infections will increase considerably due to the rapid advance of omicron. However, according to him, the impact will remain somewhat limited with many booster vaccinations and due to the possibly less serious disease course in omicron. Still, André also warns of a high workload in health care.
Preliminary research results suggest that omicron is more contagious than other variants of the coronavirus but less likely to lead to hospitalizations. Further research should show how dangerous the virus variant really is. Many countries have already taken measures due to the increasing number of infections from omicron.
Experts in Belgium have been warning for some time about rising infection rates in their own country due to the advance of omicron. The number of infections has fallen in recent days, according to data from health institute Sciensano, but those numbers may have been skewed by the Christmas season. In Belgium, 76 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, 35 percent has had a booster shot.