A 12-year-old girl is thought to be the youngest victim in Europe of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have today a difficult message to announce, emotionally it’s a difficult moment because it involves a child,” virologist Emmanuel André said on Tuesday. “It’s a rare event and we’re very distressed by it.”
The girl had a fever for three days but her condition then worsened.
She has not been named but her school in Ghent is said to be in close contact with her parents as well as other pupils’ families.
Belgium has lost 705 people to the pandemic and has almost 5,000 more in hospital.
A 14-year-old died in Portugal and a girl of 16 called Julie died last week in Paris.
While the elderly are by far the most vulnerable to Covid-19, the latest death in Belgium is evidence of all ages being at risk.