A third patient has died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus, chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said.
The man, aged in his 60s, who had underlying health problems, died at North Manchester General Hospital having recently returned from Italy.
A spokesman for the hospital said: “We can confirm that sadly a patient being treated for Covid-19 has died at our specialist regional Infectious Diseases unit at North Manchester General Hospital.
“The man in his sixties tested positive after travelling to Italy and had a number of underlying health problems.
“Our thoughts are with the patient’s family who are being supported by our specialist bereavement staff.”
Prof 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.”
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— Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) March 8, 2020
He said that contact tracing was already under way.
The announcement comes as:
– The total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK rose to 278 on Sunday evening with the confirmation of five new cases in Northern Ireland.
– The Foreign Office said it was “working intensively” with US authorities on arranging a flight for British nationals on the coronavirus-hit Grand Princess cruise ship due to arrive in Oakland, California, on Monday.
– British tourists were warned to avoid all but essential travel to a swathe of northern Italy under a coronavirus quarantine, including the popular destinations of Milan and Venice.
– Travellers returning from lockdown areas in northern Italy were advised to self-isolate if they have returned to the UK in the last 14 days, even if have they no coronavirus symptoms.
– A surgical high dependency unit run by the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust temporarily closed to new admissions after a healthcare professional tested positive for coronavirus.
– Prime Minister Boris Johnson said medical advice did not point to “any need for people to buy stuff in”, amid reports of people panic-buying in shops.
Around 16 million people in Italy, more than a quarter of the population, have been placed under lockdown as the country’s government tries to halt the spread of Covid-19.
Italy has now recorded more cases of coronavirus than any country outside China, where the disease’s outbreak originated, while its death toll has risen to 366.
Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte signed a quarantine decree early on Sunday covering the north of the country that places restrictions until April 3 on weddings, museums, cinemas, shopping centres and restaurants.
Italian airline Alitalia has suspended all national and international flights from Milan’s Malpensa airport, starting on Monday.
Budget airline easyJet said it was cancelling a number of flights to and from Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate, Venice and Verona airports on Monday.
It said it expected to reduce flights numbers in and out of these destinations up to April 3.
On Friday, it was confirmed that an 83-year-old great-grandfather had become the second person to die in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus.
The man, who also had underlying health conditions, died on Thursday while being treated at Milton Keynes University Hospital.
His family paid tribute to him as a “truly loving and wonderful person”.
On Thursday evening, another patient, reported to be a woman in her 70s, became the first person in the UK to die after being diagnosed with Covid-19, while at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.
The Department of Health said that than 23,500 people have been tested for the virus in the UK.