First Patient In England Dies After Testing Positive For Coronavirus
A person in the UK has died after being diagnosed with coronavirus.
The patient was in the 'most at risk' older cohort and already had underlying health conditions, according to the Department of Health.
Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, said: "I am very sorry to report a patient in England who tested positive for COVID-19 has sadly died. I offer my sincere condolences to their family and friends and ask that their request for privacy is respected.
"The patient, who was being treated at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, was an older patient who had underlying health conditions. We believe they contracted the virus in the UK and contact tracing is already underway."
A passenger on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan was the first British person to die after contracting the virus.
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK has now risen to 115.
At 9am yesterday the figure stood at 85 and that has now risen by 30 to 115, the Department of Health has confirmed.
Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, said earlier today: "As of 9.00am this morning 25 further patients in England have tested positive for Covid-19.
"Seventeen were diagnosed who had recently travelled from recognised countries or from recognised clusters which were under investigation. Eight patients were identified in the UK where it is not yet clear whether they contracted it directly or indirectly from an individual who had recently returned from abroad. This is being investigated and contact tracing has begun.
"The total number of confirmed cases in England is now 105. Following previously reported confirmed cases in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, the total number of UK cases is 115."
The landmark number comes after Boris Johnson warned that, at its peak, a fifth of Britain's work force could be off with the illness and pledged that people could start receiving statutory sick pay from the first day of their sickness - as opposed to the fourth.
The Prime Minister has repeatedly reassured the country that it is well prepared to meet the challenge of the virus.
The situation is worse in Italy where more than 2,500 confirmed cases of the virus have been recorded, with nearly 80 deaths.
In China, cases are believed to be slowing down, with the country announcing a decline in reported infections and a move to close their temporary hospitals. Although things are settling there, sharp rises in cases are being recorded elsewhere: the USA has now reported nine dead, all within the Washington state, while South Korea is battling to contain the largest outbreak of the virus outside of China, with more than 5,600 cases and 35 deaths.
The WHO (World Health Organization) has announced that the mortality rate for the coronavirus is now 3.4 percent, making it more likely to kill than seasonal flu.
Featured Image Credit: PA