İrem UZUN -TDO- Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes is being treated in an intensive care unit for COVID-19, her spokesperson said on Thursday morning, confirming earlier local media reports. Wilmes tested positive for the coronavirus last week and she has been in intensive care since Wednesday evening. Her condition is stable and she is conscious, according to her spokesperson.
Wilmes announced last Friday that she was going into self-isolation and getting a coronavirus test after developing “suspicious symptoms”. Her announcement came hours before a government meeting on new coronavirus regulations, which she said she would not be physically attending. The day after, she confirmed on Twitter that she had tested positive.
The announcement of Wilmes' positive test came after she attended a face-to-face summit with her fellow EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on October 12. Her Austrian counterpart, Alexander Schallenberg, has also tested positive for COVID-19. She did not mention the summit when announcing her positive test last Saturday, instead saying she thought she got infected within her family circle.
Infections and hospital admissions are continuing to rise in Belgium, which has among the world's highest rate of fatalities per capita from COVID-19. Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke warned on Sunday of a possible "tsunami" ahead, with the country starting to lose control of the virus. The country of 11 million people reported 9,693 new infections per day in this week, 75 per cent increase from the week before. An average of 319 people were admitted to hospital every day. So far, 10,539 people have died. The government is set to meet on Friday to discuss the pandemic.