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5 Mar, 2020 17:35

First person in UK dies from coronavirus as number of cases doubles in 48 hours

First person in UK dies from coronavirus as number of cases doubles in 48 hours

Health authorities in the United Kingdom have revealed that the country has recorded its first death from the coronavirus as the number of cases in the country jumped to 116.

The victim was an elderly patient who had underlying health conditions. “The patient has previously been in and out of hospital for non-coronavirus reasons, but on this occasion was admitted and last night tested positive for coronavirus,” Royal Berkshire NHS Trust said in a statement.

"The family has been informed and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time,” it added.

A total of 116 people have now tested positive for virus in the UK. The vast majority (105) of the cases are in England, while Scotland has recorded six and Wales and Northern Ireland have recorded three each.

On Tuesday there were just 51 confirmed cases in the UK however that number has spiked and the country has pivoted to the delay phase of tackling the virus.

Also on rt.com UK response to Covid-19 moves from mainly 'Contain’ to mainly 'Delay’ – Chief Medical Officer

Health officials believe that the person who died on Thursday contracted the disease in the UK and they have already begun tracing people the victim had contact with.

Last week, a British tourist who had been on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined in Japan, died from the infection.

Earlier on Thursday, England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said he is expecting more cases to be confirmed “over the next few weeks".

He said that officials are working under the premise that the virus has moved out of the containment phase and there will inevitably be an increase in the near future.

The NHS has since advised all people returning to Britain from anywhere in Italy to self-isolate if they exhibit any of the virus's symptoms. 

A total of 3,353 people have now died from the covid-19 illness worldwide. There have been nearly 100,000 confirmed cases of the infection across the globe and over 54,000 people have recovered from the disease.

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