Tuesday, July 16

UK virus cases rise from four to eight



The number of UK coronavirus cases has more than doubled to eight after four more people tested positive for the illness, according to the Department of Health.

All became infected after contact with the UK’s third confirmed coronavirus patient in a French ski resort.

The four new patients were transferred from Brighton to London hospitals. They are being treated at Guy’s and St Thomas’ infectious disease unit, and another such unit at The Royal Free hospital.

The UK’s third coronavirus patient is suepcetd of being a so-called super spreader. They are linked to at least seven confirmed cases in England, France and Spain after becoming infected in Singapore.

The UK’s fourth patient was confirmed yesterday. They had been staying in the French Alps ski resort, Les Contamines-Montjoie . They had shared a chalet with the super spreader.

That third patient is believed to have infected five fellow Brits including a nine-year-old child.

The UK today declared coronavirus as a serious and imminent threat to public health, a move that gives the government greater powers to tackle it.

The new strain of coronavirus that has claimed hundreds of lives in China is now a “serious and imminent” threat to public health, the government said today as it designated a hospital dealing with suspected coronavirus cases an “isolation” area.

“The secretary of state declares that the incidence or transmission of novel coronavirus constitutes a serious and imminent threat to public health,” the Department for Health and Social Care said.

“Measures outlined in these regulations are considered as an effective means of delaying or preventing further transmission of the virus,” the health ministry added.

The UK’s announcement came just hours after China revealed its death toll now stands at 908, and 40,171 infections in mainland China. That represents 97 new deaths and 3,062 new cases reported yesterday.

British authorities also confirmed a fourth UK patient had coronavirus yesterday. They caught the virus in France and is known to be a contact of a previous British patient.

“We are now using robust infection control measures to prevent any possible further spread of the virus,” the NHS’ chief medical officer, Chris Witty, said yesterday.

“The NHS is extremely well prepared to manage these cases and treat them, and we are working quickly to identify any further contacts the patient has had.