Belgians in quarantine following flight from Wuhan


Belgians who have been repatriated from the Chinese city of Wuhan are in quarantine to prevent any possible spread of the coronavirus

Two weeks in military hospital

Nine Belgians have been repatriated from the Chinese city of Wuhan following the coronavirus outbreak and will spend a fortnight under medical surveillance. The travellers landed at Melsbroek air base on Sunday night.

The locals were among a group of 44 people of various nationalities who were flown back to Europe on Sunday, landing first in Istres, France. None of the passengers shows any symptoms of infection.

The Belgians were taken by bus to Queen Astrid Military Hospital in Brussels (pictured), where they will spend two weeks in quarantine. No outside visits will be allowed, and all attending medical staff must wear a mask.

No cases in Belgium

The patients’ movements will be limited to their closed ward, where they will have access to a lounge, terrace, reading room and fitness area. Anyone presenting symptoms during the quarantine period will be taken to Saint-Pierre hospital in central Brussels, which has been designated as the go-to place in Belgium for treating the coronavirus.

“We have taken all the necessary measures, and we are ready,” said federal health minister Maggie De Block. “We have already tested about 20 sick people in Belgium for the coronavirus, all of whose results came back negative. Those false alarms have allowed us to refine our procedures.”

In China, some 300 people have died and 14,500 people have been infected by the virus. Twenty-three cases have been reported across Europe, most of them occurring in France and Germany.

Photo: Thierry Roge/BELGA

Originally published in The Bulletin