Covid infections among working population up by a third
The number of coronavirus infections among the working population has increased by a third in the last two weeks compared to the previous period. This was reported by Professor of Occupational Medicine Lode Godderis (KU Leuven-IDEWE), which tracks the spread of the virus in different economic sectors.
According to Professor Godderis, the increase is no surprise. "This is what the models had predicted. Perhaps we will know the peak of this increase in the second half of October."
For the working population the amount of incidences (infections per 100,000 people over two weeks) has risen from 179 in the previous period to 244 to this day. This is an increase of 36 per cent.
Incidences are increasing in all sectors. As always, the healthcare sector takes the crown. An incidence of 400 was recorded in hospitals. This corresponds to the incidence at the end of May, at the beginning of the summer wave. Incidences in the education sector also rose sharply, with primary education reaching 244 and secondary 312. It is also notable that the incidence among train crews has risen sharply. At 305, that incidence rate lands well above that of the general population.
Godderis points out that short-term sick leave, in which people are absent from work for less than 30 days, was a third higher this summer than in other years. According to Godderis, absenteeism will increase further due to this rising number of infections. "Companies do well to leave sick people at home to prevent further spread, ventilate well and monitor air quality," Godderis says. "It is also good, for example, to work in smaller teams. And those with symptoms are best to get tested quickly."
© BELGA PHOTO / Martin Bertrand - Vaccination centre in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre