BRUSSELS, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Belgium confirmed its first death from the COVID-19 on Wednesday. The total number of infected cases in the country reached 314.
Forty-seven new COVID-19 infections have been confirmed in Belgium, bringing the total number to 314, the Federal Public Health Service announced on Wednesday.
The ministers of health at the federal level and at the Brussels Region, respectively Maggie De Block and Alain Macron, announced the first death on Wednesday in a joint press release. The 90-year-old patient was treated by the network of Brussels clinics "Iris-Sud".
Despite the care provided by the medical teams, the patient passed away, De Block said.
Only one patient with confirmed COVID-19 in Belgium has recovered.
The daily increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, coupled with the fact that Belgian hospitals are seeing more and more people also suffering from lower respiratory tract infections, may indicate the beginning of an epidemic, according to the Federal Public Health Service.
It recommends avoiding gatherings of more than 1,000 people in enclosed space, and respecting the average social distance of one to two meters.
School parties are not recommended. School trips of several days are also discouraged. It is advised to follow the recommendations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding travel and risk areas. Public transport can be used. Business activities should continue.
In Flanders region, a cruise ship docked at the port of Zeebrugge on Wednesday, but was unable to disembark its passengers as two of them are believed to have had contact with an infected German. "No one will be able to leave the ship," said West Flemish Governor Carl Decaluwe.
"The ship's doctor must now determine whether it is reasonable to let the passengers disembark," the governor added.