A 12-year old girl has died after testing positive for coronavirus, and is Europe’s youngest person to die.
Dr Emmanuel Andre, a government spokesman in Belgium, said the death of someone so young “is a very rare occurrence” and this tragedy has “shook us.”
Belgium has now imposed its coronavirus lockdown restrictions to continue until 12 April, and has 12,705 confirmed cases with 705 deaths, with a country that has 11.5m people.
Dr Andre said it was “an emotionally difficult moment, because it involves a child, and it has also upset the medical and scientific community.”
He added, “We are thinking of her family and friends. It is an event that is very rare, but one which upsets us greatly.”
It is not known if the young girl had any underlying health conditions. Belgium are expecting coronavirus to reach its peak by the end of this week.
He said, “We will arrive at a point where we’re close to saturation point at our hospitals.”
According to new figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the true death toll across the UK is far higher than what NHS hospitals are reporting.
Data from the ONS for England and Wales shows there were 24% more coronavirus deaths up to, and including 20 March, compared to hospital only data reporting in that same period.
The ONS looked at all data for coronavirus reported deaths only, to include care homes and hospital deaths in the community.
For the same time period there were a total of 210 deaths in England and Wales, where death certificates mentions’ Covid-19, compared to the 170 coronavirus related deaths that was reported by Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England.
On Monday, the chief executive of NHS England Sir Simon Stevens said, there had been almost a 50% rise in a few days in the number of people being treated for coronavirus across England’s hospitals.
Sir Simon said on Monday, that on Friday, there was more than 6,200 patients in hospital with coronavirus, but on Monday this figure had jumped to more than 9,000.
Sir Patrick Vallance, England’s chief scientific adviser said the NHS are seeing around an additional 1,000 patients each day and described this daily rise as “stable.”
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