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    Belgium’s corona patient goes home

    Philip Soubry was kept in isolation at the St-Pierre hospital in Brussels for two weeks. Credit: Screengrab © VRT NWS

    Philip Soubry, to date the only person in Belgium suspected of being infected by the Covid-19 virus, has been given a clean bill of health and allowed to go home to West Flanders, the VRT reports.

    Soubry was among nine Belgians repatriated from China two weeks ago, and the only one to test positive for the virus. While the others were quarantined at the military hospital in Neder-Over-Heembeek, Soubry was transferred to the Saint-Pierre hospital in central Brussels, the reference hospital for the disease.

    At no point did he display symptoms of the disease, and he never felt ill. But doctors rely in such cases on dispassionate tests and not on patients self-reporting, and he remained in hospital.

    Now he has tested negative for the presence of the virus two days in a row. “That means he is no longer infected by the virus, and no longer represents a threat to his environment,” the federal health ministry said.

    Informed on Saturday evening of the test results, Soubry was overjoyed.

    “After two weeks in such a small room, I’m extremely relieved,” he said. “It was difficult.”

    His first aim was to visit his parents. “After that I’ll go and have a kebab and drink a beer,” he said.

    The other eight Belgians repatriated from China two weeks ago have spent the intervening time in the military hospital at Neder-Over-Heembeek in the north of Brussels-City commune. They have tested negative for the virus from the start, and are due to be allowed home today.

    Alan Hope
    The Brussels Times