The health officials in Belgium on March 31 reportedly confirmed the death of a 12-year-old due to the deadly coronavirus. While speaking to an international media outlet, a spokesperson of the government reportedly said that the girl had a fever for three days before her death, and tested positive for COVID-19. The death of the little girl has now taken the total of confirmed deaths to 705 in Belgium.
Another government spokesman reportedly said that the fatality at such a young age is a ‘very rare occurrence’. He further added that the death of the 12-year-old also ‘shook’ the authorities. As of now, no other details were provided about the case, including if she had any other underlying health problems.
Before the death of the little girl, the youngest European to die from coronavirus was another 14-year-old boy from Porto in Portugal. Similarly, France also reported the death of a 16-year-old girl in the greater Paris region. The United States health authorities have noted that the serious COVID-19 infections are uncommon among the young, however, some exceptional cases have been taken to the hospital intensive-care wards.
As confirmed cases in Belgium surpassed 700, Emmanuel Andre, spokesman for government's epidemic team said, “We're not at the peak, but at what we call the inflection point -- that means the force of the epidemic is beginning to diminish thanks to the efforts we have all made over the last two weeks”.
He further added, “It is extremely important to keep up these efforts -- just because the curve is softening slightly today, it doesn't mean it won't get worse if we let up our efforts”. Last week, Belgium also extended the lockdown measures by two weeks to April 18 in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Meanwhile, coronavirus, which originated in China in December 2019, has now claimed over 38,000 lives worldwide as of March 31. According to the tally by international news agency, the pandemic has now spread to 199 countries and has infected more than 799,998 people. Out of the total infections, 169,995 have been recovered but the easily spread virus is continuing to disrupt many lives. Major cities have been put under lockdown in almost all countries including Spain, and the economy is struggling.