Repatriated Belgian is infected with novel coronavirus

One of the nine Belgians that was repatriated from Chinese city of Wuhan on Sunday evening has been found to be infected with novel coronavirus. The infected person is currently in good health and is as yet not displaying any symptoms. All nine Belgians that arrived from Wuhan have undergone tests at the Military Hospital in the Brussels District of Neder-Over-Hembeek. One of them has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. He has been taken to an isolation unit at the Saint Peter’s Hospital in the centre of Brussels.      

Speaking on VRT radio the virologist Marc Van Ranst said “It was clearly a good decision to put people into quarantine and also to take samples from people that weren’t showing any symptoms, because this was one such person”.

Dr Van Van Ranst added “This is not a positive case from which others might become infected. The person in question is in isolation and within a few days he will be virus-free. The patient will have to remain in quarantine for 14 days and then it will be over”.   

The Saint Peter’s Hospital in Brussels is one of two novel coronavirus referral centres in Belgium.

The test results on the other 8 people repatriated on Sunday were all negative. Among them is our correspondent Leen Vervaeke.

She told VRT Radio 1 "We have spoken to the doctors they explained that we only have a minimal risk of infection. During the evacuation flight from China a lot of precautions were taken. Everyone wore mouth masks and disinfected their hands regularly. They have above all stressed that we don’t need to worry”.

Those have tested negative will have to remain at the military hospital for another 14 days. They are allowed to socialise in a communal are but must continue to wear mouth masks and keep their distance from each other.


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