Over the past 24 hours 495 people were tested by the reference laboratory at Leuven University (KUL). 485 tested negative with 10 people testing positive. The ten new cases bring the total number of people found to be infected with the COVID-19 virus in Belgium to 23.
Nine of the ten new cases are people that returned from holiday in the north of Italy. They are suffering from an infection of the upper respiratory system and are showing symptoms of mild flu.
They are currently in quarantine at their own homes. The tenth new case, a man from Eupen, is probably the first person to become infected inside Belgium. He is currently in the Saint-Pieter’s Hospital in Brussels with a more serious lung infection.
As the lion’s share of the infections are among people that have returned from holiday in northern Italy, the Federal Health Department advises anyone that has been on holiday there to remain alert to any symptoms during the first 14 days after their return.
Meanwhile, the Federal Health Minister Maggie De Block (Flemish liberal) has said that she is looking into whether textile companies in Belgium can be used to produce mouth masks for doctors and nurses. Supplies of the masks from China have dried up due to the COVID-19 crisis there.