A patient who went to a hospital in Charleroi after he started showing mild symptoms upon his return from northern Italy has tested positive for the new coronavirus.
The ISPPC, the body which heads Charleroi's university hospital, (CHU Charleroi) confirmed that a swab test taken from the patient came back positive.
"The patient came to the emergency ward of the Marie Curie hospital building with flu-like symptoms," ISPPC spokesperson Fréderic Dubois told The Brussels Times.
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"The patient was given a mask and was immediately placed in isolation away from the emergency ward," Dubois said. "They were then sent back home since they did not present worrying symptoms."
The patient, whose age and gender was not communicated, will have to remain in isolation in their homes, in accordance with the advice given by the federal public health services (FPS Santé).
Dubois said the patient came to the hospital centre after he started developing symptoms, which were described as "flu-like," telling hospital staff that he had recently been in the northern Italian region of Lombardy, one of the main outbreak areas in Italy.
The confirmation by the ISPPC would bring the count of confirmed cases of new Covid-19 coronavirus in Belgium up from the current 23.
Unofficial reports that a teacher was the first person in the province of Limburg to become infected with the virus would also bump the official count up.
Federal health authorities are expected to give an updated count of confirmed cases in a daily press conference around noon on Thursday.
The Brussels Times
Correction: This article has been updated to clarify that the sample from the patient tested positive for the new Covid-19 coronavirus.