UK

Coronavirus: Man in 80s is second person to die of virus in UK

General view of Milton Keynes University hospital Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The hospital said all services and appointments are running normally despite the death

A man in his early 80s has become the second person in the UK to die after testing positive for coronavirus.

Milton Keynes Hospital said the man, who had underlying health conditions, tested positive for the virus and died shortly afterwards on Thursday.

The hospital has isolated any patients or staff who were in contact with him.

The UK's first death linked to the virus was confirmed on Thursday when a woman in her 70s - also with underlying health issues - died in hospital.

As well as the two deaths in the UK, a British man died from the virus last month in Japan after being infected on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

It comes as the number of confirmed cases in the UK rose to 164 - the biggest increase in a single day so far.

Milton Keynes Hospital said its appointments and services were "running normally".

The UK government's chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty said work was under way to trace people who the man was in contact with before he died.

Meanwhile, 21 people - including 19 crew members and two passengers - have tested positive for coronavirus on a cruise ship that was barred from docking in San Francisco, California.

More than 140 British nationals, many of whom are elderly and concerned about their medicine supply, are among those stranded on the Grand Princess ship over the outbreak.

The nationalities of those who have tested positive has not yet been revealed.

US Vice-President Mike Pence said all 3,500 passengers and crew would now be tested for the virus.

The Women's Six Nations rugby match between Scotland and France in Glasgow on Saturday has also been postponed after a Scottish player contracted the virus.

She is being treated and is "doing well", the team's medical officer said, while seven other members of the squad and management are in self-isolation.

Cases hit 164

According to the latest Department of Health figures, as of 9:00 GMT on Friday, 20,338 people had been tested.

The latest number of confirmed cases comprises 147 cases in England, 11 in Scotland, three in Northern Ireland and two in Wales. On Friday night, a fourth person in Northern Ireland was diagnosed with the virus.

Of the cases in England there are:

  • 29 in London
  • 24 in the South East
  • 22 in the South West
  • 21 in the North West
  • 13 in the North East and Yorkshire
  • 12 in the Midlands
  • 11 in the East of England
  • 15 not yet confirmed

In Scotland, there are three cases in Grampian, two in Fife, two in Forth Valley and one each in Lothian, Tayside, Ayrshire & Arran and Greater Glasgow & Clyde.

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Media captionSteps the NHS says you should take to protect yourself from Covid-19

About 45 of the confirmed cases have been self-isolating at home, while 18 people have recovered.

Up to 30 cases have no known link to foreign travel, which the BBC's medical correspondent Fergus Walsh said "suggests the virus is establishing a firm foothold".

But he added that "it is worth stressing that four out of five people infected will have a mild illness".

The UK government has pledged to spend £46m more on urgent work to tackle the coronavirus - including more money to develop a vaccine and cash to help some of the most vulnerable countries prepare for an outbreak.

The money will fund work on eight possible vaccines which are already in development as well as a lab in Bedford to try to create a test that could provide results within 20 minutes.

Currently, tests take a couple of days to provide results.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Boris Johnson visited a lab in Bedford on Friday
Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Shoppers have reported being unable to buy hand sanitiser with shelves empty

On Monday, officials will hold a meeting to discuss the practicalities of holding sport events behind closed doors and without fans, if the outbreak worsens and mass gatherings are banned.

In other developments:

  • Facebook is closing its London office for the weekend after it was discovered that a Singapore-based employee who visited last week has been diagnosed with the virus. Staff members have been told to work from home until Monday
  • British Airways said two members of their staff at Heathrow Airport - believed to be from the baggage team - had tested positive for the virus, which causes the disease Covid-19. The two employees are now self-isolating at home
  • Visitors to a hospital in Northampton have been stealing hand sanitising gel daily, with bottles taken from patients' beds and dispensers from walls
  • Delivery company Hermes announced £1m to help support their self-employed couriers if they need to self-isolate. The move has been praised by the GMB Union
  • A church in Devon has been closed for a deep clean after a parishioner tested positive and a Hare Krishna temple near Watford has also closed because of a coronavirus case among its congregation
  • The latest drive-through coronavirus test centre has opened, this time in north-east Wales, where people do not need to leave their cars to be tested
  • Starbucks branches and train operator LNER have temporarily banned reusable cups in response to the outbreak

The government has said the UK is still in the first phase of its four-part plan to tackle the virus outbreak, which is made up of: contain, delay, research and mitigate.

But officials were ramping up work to prepare for the next phase, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson added.

The government is still deciding what measures will be taken in the delay phase, but has previously said this could include banning big events, closing schools, encouraging people to work from home and discouraging the use of public transport.

Globally, the number of coronavirus cases has now passed 100,000, with 3,400 deaths.

The government has updated its advice for Italy - the country in Europe that has been hit worst by the virus and which has seen more than 4,600 cases. The country recorded another 49 deaths on Friday, bringing the total number up to 197.

Travellers who develop symptoms after returning from any part of Italy - not just the north of the country - should self-isolate, while those returning from quarantined areas should self-isolate even without symptoms.


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