First case of coronavirus in Wales as two more confirmed in England

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The first case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Wales, as two more were identified in England – bringing the total number in the UK to 19.

On Friday morning, Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr Frank Atherton confirmed one person had been diagnosed with the virus after travelling back to Wales from Italy.

He said: “I can confirm that one patient in Wales has tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19).

“All appropriate measures to provide care for the individual and to reduce the risk of transmission to others are being taken.

“I can also confirm that the patient had travelled back to Wales from northern Italy, where the virus was contracted.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to assure the public that Wales and the whole of the UK is well prepared for these types of incidents.”

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

Public Health Wales is now working to identify close contacts and reduce any risk to the public’s health, said Dr Giri Shankar, the body’s incident director for the coronavirus outbreak response.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health confirmed two further cases of coronavirus in England.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty said: “The virus was passed on in Iran and the patients have been transferred to specialist NHS infection centres at the Royal Free Hospital.”

It comes as Downing Street said Boris Johnson would chair a meeting of the Government’s Cobra contingencies committee on the coronavirus outbreak on Monday.

The total number of cases in England is now at 17, and the first case in Northern Ireland was confirmed on Thursday.

Coronavirus
A woman wearing a face mask on the London Underground (Ian Hinchliffe/PA)

The Northern Ireland patient had recently returned from northern Italy.

Irish health authorities said on Friday that people who had sat within two rows of the person on the flight from northern Italy to Dublin have been contacted.

The woman followed advice in reporting concerns to a GP, and “self isolated” at home whilst awaiting the results of testing.

Irish health chief Dr John Cuddihy said: “Each of the stages of this person’s journey have been identified and all relevant contacts in all of those stages of transport have been contacted (and) traced.”

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

Italy has become the worst-affected country in Europe, with at least 650 cases and 15 deaths.

On Friday, easyJet said it will be cancelling flights as a result of the continued spread of coronavirus.

The budget airline said the move will particularly affect “those into and out of Italy”, and it will adapt its flying programme to best support demand.

EasyJet said the increase in Covid-19 cases in northern Italy has resulted in softer demand in the region, while demand has also slowed in other European markets.

On Thursday, it was confirmed that a parent at a primary school in Derbyshire contracted the virus in Tenerife, where 168 Britons are being kept in a hotel in the south-west of the island.

Hundreds of guests have been confined to the H10 Costa Adeje Palace after at least four guests were diagnosed with coronavirus.

On Friday, some holidaymakers were seen leaving the hotel wearing face masks after being screened for their temperature.

The health minister in Tenerife said around 130 guests from 11 different countries will be able to leave the hotel if they arrived on Monday, after infected guests had already left.

Sources told the PA news agency that around 50 of the Britons will be allowed to leave if they wish.

No other guests or staff at the hotel have been infected and the remaining 600 holidaymakers from 25 different countries are to be quarantined for 14 days.

Coronavirus
Burbage Primary School in Buxton, Derbyshire, has been closed due to a ‘confirmed case of coronavirus amongst our parent population’ (Danny Lawson/PA)

Airline Jet2 has said it will not fly back any people who have been staying at the hotel until they have tested negative for the illness, or until the incubation period has passed.

Two Britons were among eight people being monitored on board a cruise ship that was turned back by the Dominican Republic.

A joint statement by the Public Health Ministry and port authority on the island said the captain of the Braemar, which is carrying around 1,500 people, reported that four Filipinos, two British citizens and two US citizens were under medical observation for symptoms such as fever, coughing, or breathing difficulty.

In China, where the virus originated, 78,497 cases have been reported, including 2,744 deaths.

World Health Organisation director-general Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus told a press conference in Geneva on Thursday that coronavirus has the potential to become a global pandemic but this stage has not yet been reached.

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