Authorities in Belgium have said a 12-year-old girl has died after contracting coronavirus. She becomes the youngest known person in Europe to have died from the virus.

It is not yet known if the girl had underlying health conditions.

Belgium currently has confirmed around 12,705 are infected, and has had over 700 victims.

Before the 12-year-old girl’s death, the youngest person in Europe to die after contracting the highly contagious respiratory infection was believed to be Vitor Godhino, a 14-year-old boy from Porto in Portugal.

In the UK, the youngest person to die was an 18-year-old who had serious underlying health issues.

Belgium’s 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”.

Mr Andre said 98 people had died with the infection over the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 705 in a country of around 11.5 million people.

He said that Belgian authorities expect the spread of the disease to reach its peak in the next few days.