Belgian authorities have confirmed that a 12-year-old girl has died as a result of the coronavirus. Her passing is being called a “rare occurrence”, as she is the youngest fatality among Belgian’s 705 COVID-19 deaths.
It has not yet been confirmed whether there was an underlying condition present at the time of her death.
The news was announced on Tuesday, March 31 by Belgian national crisis centre spokesperson Emmanuel Andre. “It is an emotionally difficult moment, because it involves a child, and it has also upset the medical and scientific community,” he said. “We are thinking of her family and friends. It is an event that is very rare, but one which upsets us greatly.”
He added that 98 people in Belgium have died from the disease over the past 24 hours, bringing the total toll to 705 in a country of around 11.5-million people. More than 12 705 cases have been confirmed in total so far.
Andre also said that Belgian authorities expect the spread of the disease to reach its peak in coming days.
“We will arrive at a point where we’re close to saturation point at our hospitals,” he added.