Four-year-old is youngest Covid-19 patient in Brussels hospital
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Four-year-old is youngest Covid-19 patient in Brussels hospital

© Belga/Dirk Waem

A four-year-old child is the youngest patient admitted into a Brussels hospital intensive care unit (ICU) for Covid-19, the chief of university hospital UZ Brussel said.

UZ Brussel CEO Marc Noppen said that “people of all ages” were interned in the hospital in northern Brussels and warned that the new coronavirus was “not only dangerous for old people.”

“Our youngest patient in the intensive care unit is just four years old,” he said. “It’s very hard, even for our personnel.”

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Noppen’s comments coincide with a steep rise in the number of hospitalizations for coronavirus which has seen Belgian hospitals hike up their intake capacity of critical Covid-19 patients by delaying other urgent care.

From Friday, all hospitals in Brussels are set to shift into phase 1B, which requires them to reserve half of their ICU beds to coronavirus patients.

While the rest of hospitals in the country remain in a lower phase (1A), Erika Vlieghe, a virologist advising the government on coronavirus, said on Thursday that a general scale up to 1B was likely.

As of the latest countrywide figures on Thursday, over 1,700 people were hospitalised, with the average of new daily hospitalizations rising to nearly 170 admissions per day for the last 7 days, up from 130 a week prior.

At UZ Brussel, 8 new patients were admitted for coronavirus, bringing the hospital’s total to 36, out of which 10 were in the intensive care unit, according to the hospital’s latest coronavirus update on Thursday.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times