On Monday, six new patients infected with the new coronavirus (Covid-19) were reported in Belgium, marking the total number of people who have been infected in the country at eight.
The six newly infected people, including a family of three, have all recently returned from Northern Italy, said Minister for Health, Maggie De Block during a press conference on Monday.
A total of eight infections have now been diagnosed in Belgium. The very first patient, a Belgian man who was repatriated from the Chinese city of Wuhan, has since recovered. The second patient was admitted to the University hospital of Antwerp (UZA) this weekend and has mild symptoms.
The third case was a Brussels resident whose infection was confirmed on Monday morning by Brussels Health Minister Alain Maron’s cabinet. The patient is reportedly quarantined at home.
Of the six new patients, some are kept in isolation at their homes, others in the hospital.
“Their homes will be hermetically sealed, only things will be delivered. Quarantine is a high wall that prevents you from getting out, and someone else from getting in,” De Block said. However, the patients are followed up on closely. “They are not allowed to come back into contact with others until they are no longer contagious,” she added.
According to De Block, it is not surprising that the virus has reached our country. “We’re about the last country in Europe, we were waiting for it.”
Residents who develop symptoms are advised to avoid going to a hospital or a public health centre and to first contact a doctor, in order to limit the risks of further spreading the virus.