A patient in their 70s has become the fourth person to die from coronavirus in the UK.
The pensioner, who had underlying health conditions, appeared to have contracted the disease in the UK and was being treated at the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told MPs there are now "four confirmed deaths" connected to the coronavirus outbreak in the UK.
Mr Hancock, responding to an urgent question in the House of Commons, told MPs: "Here in the UK, as of this morning, there were 319 confirmed cases.
"Very sadly this now includes four confirmed deaths.
"I entirely understand why people are worried and concerned and we send our condolences to the families."
Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England said: "I am very sorry to report that a fourth 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.
"The patient, who was being treated at the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital, was in their seventies and had underlying health conditions. It appears the virus was acquired in the UK and full contact tracing has begun.”
Mr Hancock said the NHS is well prepared to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
He said: "We continue to work to contain the virus, but we're also taking action to delay its impact, to fund research and to mitigate its consequences.
"Throughout our approach is guided by the science. That is the bedrock on which we base all our decisions.
"Our plan sets out what we are prepared to do and we'll make the right choices of which action to pursue at the right moment.
"The scientific advice is clear – acting too early creates its own risks, so we will do what is right to keep people safe.
"Guided by the science we'll act at the right time and we'll be clear and open about our actions and the reasons for them."
He added that the NHS has received a spike in calls through the 111 number.
The Health Secretary said: "We've now added an extra 700 people to support that effort. 111 online is now dealing with more inquiries than the voice calls."
He said 'the time taken to test is being reduced as we're bringing in a new system for faster results'.
Mr Hancock told MPs: "We will shortly bring forward legislative options to help people and services to tackle this outbreak.
"The Bill will be temporary and proportionate with measures that last only as long as necessary in line with clinical advice."
Mr Hancock added that the Government would stop at nothing to get its response right.
The Health Secretary reassured the House of Commons that food supplies would continue even in a 'reasonable worst-case scenario'.
Conservative former health secretary Jeremy Hunt asked Mr Hancock to reflect on what the UK has learnt from the coronavirus outbreak in China "given that yesterday was the first day when reported new cases in the UK exceeded reported new cases in China"
Source: Read Full Article