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Coronavirus: 12 repatriated Belgians quarantined in Brussels

21:32 02/02/2020

Twelve Belgians have been repatriated from the Chinese city of Wuhan following the coronavirus outbreak and will spend a fortnight under medical surveillance.

The Belgian travellers landed at Melsbroek air base, near Brussels Airport, on Sunday night. They were among a group of 44 people of various nationalities who were flown back to Europe on Sunday, landing first in Istres, France.

None of the passengers shows any symptoms of infection. In China, some 300 people have died and 14,000 people have been infected by the virus.

The repatriated Belgians were taken by bus to Queen Astrid military hospital in Neder-Over-Heembeek, where they will spend two weeks in quarantine. No outside visits will be allowed, and all medical staff attending to them must wear a mask.

The patients' movements will be limited to their closed ward - where they will have access to a reading room, outside terrace, a shared lounge and a fitness area.

Anyone presenting symptoms during the quarantine period will be taken to Saint-Pierre hospital in central Brussels, which has been designated as the go-to place in Belgium for treating coronavirus.

"We have taken all the necessary measures and we are ready," said federal health minister Maggie De Block. "We have already tested about 20 sick people for the coronavirus - all of whose results came back negative. Those false alarms have allowed us to refine our procedures."

Photo: Paul-Henri Verlooy/Belga

Written by The Bulletin