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12-year-old girl dies of coronavirus in Belgium

We must not forget that virus can affect all age groups, says government spokesman

Agnes Szucs   | 31.03.2020
12-year-old girl dies of coronavirus in Belgium

BRUSSELS

A 12-year-old girl in Belgium has become one of the youngest victims of coronavirus pandemic in a rare development, an official said Tuesday.

Addressing a news conference, government spokesman Emmanuel Andre called the loss “a very rare case that touches us all”.

Children are at a very low risk of developing complications after contracting the virus, he said, but we must not forget that it can affect all age groups.

The deceased girl did not have any underlying medical condition prior to catching the virus.

Her condition started to significantly deteriorate three days after being tested for coronavirus, virologist Steven Van Gucht said at the same news conference.

Additionally, a 30-year-old nurse also lost her life because of the virus.

Belgium has confirmed more than 12,700 cases of the virus, and 705 deaths so far.

Despite the growing numbers, the Belgian health system is still able to cope with the virus. Only 53% of intensive care beds are being used currently.

The federal government led by Sophie Wilmes imposed a lockdown two weeks ago.

The measures only allow people to leave their homes only for buying food and medicine, visiting a doctor, helping someone in need or going to work if home office is not an option for them.

Only supermarkets and pharmacies can stay open; snack bars and restaurants can only offer food for take-away.

According to the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center, more than 800,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed worldwide, with over 38,700 deaths and more than 170,300 recoveries.

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