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First case of coronavirus confirmed in Belgium
Belgium has its first confirmed case of coronavirus, after one of the Belgians repatriated from China at the weekend tested positive.
The patient arrived in Belgium on a specially chartered flight from Wuhan on Sunday night and was due to spend two weeks in quarantine at Queen Astrid military hospital.
West Flemish regional TV channel Focus-WTV reported on Tuesday evening that the patient was a man, in his fifties, from the region, who had been working for the past five years at the Chinese branch of a Belgian industrial firm.
After extensive testing, the patient was transferred on Monday evening to Saint-Pierre university hospital in central Brussels. Saint-Pierre was last month designated as the hub for care and prevention in Belgium in case of an outbreak. The hospital, near Porte de Hal, has several experts in infectious diseases.
Federal health minister Maggie De Block said the test results had come back negative for the other Belgians repatriated from the Chinese city of Wuhan over the weekend.
"The person who tested positive is in good health and has no signs of illness at the moment," said De Block. "Saint-Pierre hospital has all the expertise and support necessary to guarantee the best care."
The fact that one of the repatriated Belgians has tested positive may have consequences for the others at Queen Astrid hospital. Their quarantine conditions could be reassessed - at present they are required to stay in hospital for two weeks.
The number of confirmed deaths from the coronavirus in China has risen to 425. A total of 19,950 people are infected across China, according to central government statistics.