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Coronavirus: Belgian FM Sophie Wilmès in intensive care after testing positive for COVID-19

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By Euronews
Sophie Wilmes attends a news conference following a meeting of the National Security Council. July 27, 2020.
Sophie Wilmes attends a news conference following a meeting of the National Security Council. July 27, 2020.   -   Copyright  Francois Lenoir/AP   -  

Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmès has been admitted to intensive care after testing positive for COVID-19, national media cited her spokesperson as saying.

"The Minister's condition is stable but requires constant monitoring. Therefore she will remain in intensive care until further notice. There is no cause for concern," Wilmès' spokesperson told Euronews.

"She is very well cared for and wants to thank the medical staff for their attentive and competent care. She also wishes to thank the many people who have shown their support and sympathy over the past few days."

President of the European Council and former Prime Minister of Belgium Charles Michel wrote on Twitter: "All my affection and friendship for @Sophie_Wilmes who has led the national fight against #COVID19 and who must now fight it personally."

Wilmès, who is also deputy prime minister, announced that she had received a positive test result on Saturday, saying she had probably caught it from her family circle.

She had said on Friday that she had "suspicious" symptoms and quarantined pending the results.

Her cabinet did not quarantine as Wilmès had "always been very careful with colleagues in the government and when she was in the cabinet."

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo wished the FM a "speedy recovery," adding: "No one is immune from this dangerous virus. Together we will defeat COVID-19."

Wilmès, who is a member of the Reformist Movement, is Belgium's first female foreign minister, and was the only female prime minister in the country's history.

Other politicians that have been hospitalised after contracting the coronavirus include the UK PM Boris Johnson and US President Donald Trump.

Belgium's health minister said on Monday that his country was losing control of the second wave of the coronavirus and was close to being hit by a "tsunami" of infection.

Belgians needed to dramatically change their behaviour, Frank Vandenbroucke told broadcaster RTL.

He said the situation was worst in the region of Wallonia and in the capital, Brussels, describing it as "the worst, and therefore the most dangerous in all of Europe".