- A fourth person in the UK has tested positive for the coronavirus, said the UK’s chief medical officer on Sunday.
- Professor Chris Whitty said the person had become infected with the virus after coming into contact with a known carrier of the illness in France.
- Earlier, Spanish medical authorities said that a British man has tested positive for the illness, while three members of his family tested negative.
- The coronavirus is now more deadly than the SARS epidemic that swept from China in the early 2000s, and has killed 813 people in total.
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A person has tested positive in the UK for the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the country to four, said the UK’s top medical officer on Sunday.
Professor Chris Whitty, the UK’s chief medical officer, said the new case had been been infected by coming into contact with a known carrier of the virus in France.
“Experts at Public Health England continue to work hard tracing patient contacts from the UK cases. They successfully identified this individual and ensured the appropriate support was provided.
“The patient has been transferred to a specialist NHS centre at The Royal Free Hospital [Camden, London], and we are now using robust infection control measures to prevent any possible further spread of the virus.”
No other information was released about the new case.
It comes as 200 people on board the UK’s last evacuation flight from Wuhan, China, where the illness originated, arrived at RAF Brize Norton airport on Sunday.
They were taken to a conference centre in Milton Keynes, where they will be held in quarantine for 14 days.
Earlier, a British man in Majorca tested positive for the illness, said Spanish medical authorities. He was part of a family of four who had been tested, and he also caught the virus after coming into contact with a person infected with the illness in France.
Two of the UK cases are Chinese nationas, who are being treated in a hospital in Newcastle, in northeastern England. A third is a man who stopped at a ski resort in France before returning to the UK from Singapore. A family of five who he came into contact with in France have all tested positive for the illness.
The coronavirus has now killed 813 people, making it deadlier than the SARS, or acute respiratory syndrome, epidemic, which originated in China in the early 2000s, killing 774.
Experts though say that the rate of fatalities from the coronavirus epidemic is lower than that from SARS.