An elderly woman has died in Belgium after turning down a ventilator to give to a younger coronavirus patient.
Suzanne Hoylaerts, 90, from Binkom, near Lubbeek, is reported to have told doctors: ‘I don’t want to use artificial respiration. Save it for younger patients. I already had a good life.’
She went to hospital on March 20 after her condition deteriorated when she contracted Covid-19, suffering from a lack of appetite and shortness of breath. She tested positive for coronavirus and was put in isolation, meaning her daughter Judith could not visit. She died two days later on March 22.
Judith spoke to Dutch newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. She said: ‘I can’t say goodbye to her, and I don’t even have a chance to attend her funeral.’
She added that she did not know how her mother contracted the virus because she had stayed at home and complied with the lockdown measures.
There have been 705 deaths in Belgium after a jump of 200 fatalities yesterday. A 12-year-old girl in the country became Europe’s youngest victim to die from the disease.
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Deaths from the coronavirus spiked in Europe on Tuesday with Spain, France and Britain reporting their highest daily tolls to date, as field hospitals shot up across New York, the epicentre of the US outbreak bracing for dark times ahead.
With more than 40,000 killed by the disease barrelling around the globe, the United States, already home to the largest number of confirmed infections, hit a bleak milestone as its national death toll surpassed China’s.
In a matter of months, the virus has infected nearly 850,000 people in a crisis hammering the global economy and transforming the daily existence of some 3.6 billion people who have been told to stay home under lockdowns.
Deaths shot up again across Europe. While there are hopeful signs that the spread of infections is slowing in hardest-hit Italy and Spain, more than 800 died overnight in both countries.
France recorded a one-day record of 499 dead while Britain reported 381 coronavirus deaths.
With hospitals direly overstretched, lockdowns have been extended despite their crushing economic impact.
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