Belgium Announces New Drastic COVID-19 Measures

  • Belgium Announces New Drastic COVID-19 Measures

Belgium Announces New Drastic COVID-19 Measures

Belgium's former Prime Minister and incumbent Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy PM, Sophie Wilmes has been admitted to the intensive care unit with a COVID-19 infection.

Wilmes' had been self-isolating for the past one week after she tested positive, but her condition kept worsening, and therefore she was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday night.

The announcement of Wilmes' positive test came after she attended a face-to-face summit with her fellow European Union foreign ministers in Luxembourg on October 12.

Her condition is stable, her spokesperson told VRT NWS on Thursday.

Over the last seven days, hospital admissions averaged 319 per day.

She did not mention the summit when announcing her positive test last Saturday, instead saying she thought she got infected within her family circle.

Prime Minister Alexander de Croo, who succeeded Ms. Wilmes on October 1, wished her a "speedy recovery" on his Twitter account.

Sciensano said Thursday that during the seven days from October 12 to October 18, an average of 9,693 new COVID-19 infections per day had been confirmed, as well as an average of 33.1 deaths per day.

Ms Wilmes became Belgium's first female prime minister in October a year ago when she succeeded Mr Michel.

Belgium, meanwhile, is experiencing one of the worst second epidemic waves in the world and is one of the deadliest per capita outbreaks with 10,539 deaths in a country of 11.5 million people.

Wilmes led the country through the first six months of the pandemic, then switched jobs after her minority administration was replaced by a majority coalition this month. More than 10,000 people have died from coronavirus-related complications in Belgium. Wilmes was praised for her soft touch as she calmly led the country through the crisis.

She stepped down this month when Mr De Croo was sworn in after almost a year and a half of complex negotiations among parties divided along linguistic as well as political lines.