Journalist tells of her first day in quarantine since her repatriation from Wuhan

Among the nine Belgians and their Chinese family members that were repatriated from the Chinese city of Wuhan on Sunday is our correspondent Leen Vervaeke. She told VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘De ochtend’ that the repatriation passed without any problems arising.   

The nine Belgians and their Chinese family members have now spent their first night in quarantine at the military hospital in the Brussels district of Neder-Over-Hembeek. They will remain there for the next two weeks. Up until now no cases of the corona virus have been diagnosed in Belgium and none of those in quarantine show any signs of having the virus.  

Speaking in ‘De ochtend’ correspondent Leen Vervaeke said "Everything ran really smoothly.  When we arrived after our flight we were collected one by one and were given a room. We spoke to a doctor and afterwards everyone was allowed to rest.”

The repatriated Belgians are staying in an isolated wing of the Military Hospital. “Awaiting an initial test we have to remain in our room and we are not allowed to go out onto the corridor. That is phase 1”.

"We will all be swab tested this morning and saliva and snot will be taken”.

The samples will be tested later today by scientists a Leuven University (KUL). "If the tests are negative we will enter phase 2 and we will be allowed into a communal area. The quarantine will become less strict.

The corona virus has a maximum incubation period of two weeks. If after this time they show no sign of having contracted the virus the 12 people currently in quarantine will be allowed to leave hospital.   

Anyone that become ill will be transferred to the Saint-Peter’s Hospital in the centre of Brussels where they will be fully isolated from the outside world. This would also have consequences for the other people currently in quarantine as it would mean that they would have to remain at the Military Hospital for a further two weeks.   

However, according to Leen Vervaeke "The chance that anyone is infected is very small. The test will be conclusive, but we have all been inside for the past 12 days and we feel healthy. Everyone is calm and above all happy that we have been evacuated”.