Eight Belgians, who had been repatriated from China and quarantined, will return home on Sunday, said Federal Public Service (SPF) for Health on Thursday.
The multiple tests performed to see if they were infected by the coronavirus have all come back negative. Since early February, 11 Belgians have been repatriated and quarantined. All are fine, though one person tested positive for the viral pneumonia.
“All Belgians in quarantine are doing well,” explained SPF Health Spokesperson Jan Eyckmans. From among the first group of nine Belgians repatriated from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the epidemic broke out, eight will be going home on Sunday. “All tests are negative. We are 100% sure that they are healthy,” Eyckmans explained.
As for the one Belgian who is contaminated with the virus, he remains in quarantine at Saint-Pierre Hospital in Brussels. He must wait until the coronavirus has been completely eliminated from his system before he may leave.
“In many people in China, the virus died off by itself. We believe this will be the case here too,” Eyckmans said. However, we do not know how long it will take. The patient shows none of the disease’s symptoms. “We try to make his life as pleasant as possible, such as installing Wifi and allowing his personal belongings.”
Two other Belgians remain in quarantine. They were repatriated on Sunday and tested negative for the virus. For safety reasons, however, they must be isolated for two weeks, separated one from the other.
“The incubation period varies. We now envisage fourteen days, but the average is usually between two and five days. After two weeks, we’ll be sure they are in good health,” the spokesperson said. In addition, some had already been quarantined before arriving in Belgium, he added. “The priority now is to check that there are no other cases,” he concluded.