Coronavirus: Second UK death linked to disease confirmed

Man was in his early 80s and had underlying health conditions

Health secretary announces second UK coronavirus death

The second UK death related to the Covid-19 coronavirus has been confirmed.

The man, who was in his early 80s and had underlying health conditions, tested positive for the virus shortly before his death at Milton Keynes University Hospital on Thursday.

Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said the hospital is working with Public Health England “to isolate any patients or staff who had contact with the patient”.

“His family has been informed and our thoughts and condolences are with them at what is undoubtedly a difficult and distressing time,” it added in a statement.

England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said contact tracing is already underway.

He added: “I am very sorry to report a second 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 request for privacy is respected.”

Health secretary Matt Hancock told ITV on Friday: “I am very sorry to hear the news of a second death here in the UK of somebody with coronavirus.

“My condolences go out to the family and to his loved ones.”

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 at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.

Last week, a British tourist who had been on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined in Japan, became the first UK citizen to die from the virus.

A total of 164 cases of coronavirus have so far been officially confirmed in the UK, while 20,175 people had tested negative.

Globally, the number of cases has passed 100,000, with 3,400 deaths.

Environment secretary George Eustice met with supermarket bosses on Friday, who said they were they will avoid food shortages and have contingency plans in place.

New blog posts from Public Health England (PHE) suggested people may need to get supplies for loved ones in future if social-distancing measures are brought in and more people are told to stay at home.

The posts urged people to “plan ahead”, adding: “Everyone has a part to play, and we’re asking people to think about what they do in a typical week, how they could limit contact with others if asked to, and how they could help people in their community who might need support if certain social-distancing measures were put in place.

“This might include helping older relatives and neighbours to get some food in, so that they would have supplies for a week or so if required, ensuring someone would be available to go shopping for them, or arranging for online delivery if they needed it.”

Additional reporting by PA.

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