Coronavirus: Man in his 60s becomes third person to die in UK after testing positive

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A man in his 60s has become the third person to die in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus.

The patient had "significant underlying health conditions" and was being treated at North Manchester General Hospital when he died, according to England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty.

He had also recently returned from a trip in Italy.

In a brief statement, Mr Whitty said: "I am very sorry to report that a third 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 privacy is respected.

"The patient, who was being treated at the North Manchester General Hospital, was over 60 years old and had significant underlying health conditions."

Mr Whitty added that contact tracing was already underway.

Most recent coronavirus developments in the UK:

A spokesman for the hospital confirmed on Sunday the man died while being treated for the virus at its specialist regional unit for infectious diseases.

He added: "Our thoughts are with the patient's family who are being supported by our specialist bereavement staff."

The Foreign Office has since advised against all but essential travel to virus-stricken areas of northern Italy, while the Department for Health and Social Care has said those returning from the affected areas should self-isolate for 14 days at home, even if they have no symptoms.

The announcement from Manchester on Sunday comes just days after the first two deaths were reported in the UK in patients who had tested positive for the illness.

Both had underlying health conditions and died in hospital on Thursday.

The first, a woman in 70s, lost her life in hospital in Reading, Berkshire, while the second, an 83-year-old man, died while being treated at Milton Keynes University Hospital.

In a statement on Saturday night, the family of the second victim paid tribute to a "truly loving and wonderful" husband, dad, granddad and great-granddad.

They also confirmed they could not yet begin making funeral arrangements for their relative as they had also been placed into isolation as a precaution.

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The total number of coronavirus cases in the UK now sits at 273, a rise of 67 since Saturday. This is the biggest jump in cases in a 24-hour period.

Earlier today, it was announced two more people had tested positive in Wales and last night it was revealed three more were diagnosed with the virus in Northern Ireland.

A healthcare worker at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust was also confirmed to have tested positive on Sunday evening.

The trust said in a statement the person had worked "a single night shift in our surgical high dependency unit on Friday, 6 March" and was now isolated at home.

It added: "The small number of patients and staff who came into close contact with this individual have been informed and will be appropriately isolated."

"The surgical high dependency unit is temporarily closed to new admissions. Any patient affected by the temporary closure will be contacted directly.

"The trust is following Public Health England and NHS guidance in respect of the virus and all other services are operating normally."

The vast majority of COVID-19 cases are in England. London has at least 51 cases, the South East 41 and the South West 35. The region with the smallest number is the North East and Yorkshire with at least 18.

Meanwhile, the Grand Princess cruise ship - which has more than 140 Britons on board - is due to dock in Oakland, California, after 21 people were confirmed to have the virus.

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