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The COVID-19 Barometer collects data from general practitioners (primary health care sector) about the consultations in this health crisis. The aim is to monitor the evolution of the pandemic in Belgium as closely as possible, but also, as winter arrives with its share of viruses (particularly influenza), to differentiate between these different infections.
The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need to closely monitor the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic at the frontline of health care, particularly among general practitioners.
A first version of the Barometer was initiated in March 2020 and aimed to collect data specific to the COVID-19 health crisis from frontline actors. On the basis of this first experience, the COVID-19 Barometer has been adapted, both in terms of the mode of data collection and the data collected, but the objective remains the same: to have a tool for monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic in Belgium in general medical practices: the COVID-19 2.0 Barometer.
Specifically, the Barometer 2.0 aims to monitor acute respiratory tract infections, influenza syndromes and suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infections, which is particularly important to guide the approach of suspected COVID-19 cases in the primary care sector in line with testing capacity and syndromic surveillance.
The collected data relate to the number of patients with acute respiratory tract infection (ARI), influenza infection (ILI), viral syndrome (code A77 — ICPC2), suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection. Automated queries in GPs’ medical software packages generate these numbers to be transmitted several times a week.
Barometer 2.0 will run for a period of 6 months (October 2020 to March 2021), where winter viruses are particularly present. This instrument will enable rapid monitoring (real-time data) on a local scale. In addition, the tool will enable each GP to visualise his or her own data, and to compare themselves to other practitioners in their circle or region (compiled and anonymous data).
Do you have a question about the barometer? Contact the barometer team