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Girl, 12, becomes youngest person to die in Belgium after being diagnosed with coronavirus, authorities say

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A 12-year-old girl has died in Belgium after being diagnosed with coronavirus.

The girl, whose identity has not been given, is by far the youngest among more than 700 victims in the country, authorities said today. 

National crisis centre spokesman Emmanuel Andre said it is “an emotionally difficult moment, because it involves a child, and it has also upset the medical and scientific community”.

“We are thinking of her family and friends. It is an event that is very rare, but one which upsets us greatly,” he said. 

He said 98 people had died after contracting the disease over the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 705 in a country of around 11.5 million people.

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More than 12,705 cases have been confirmed.

Belgian authorities expect the spread of the disease to reach its peak in coming days.

At that point they expect to “arrive at a point where we’re close to saturation point at our hospitals”.

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