Nick Abbot 10pm - 1am
All but one UK coronavirus victims discharged from hospital, NHS says
15 February 2020, 22:05 | Updated: 24 February 2020, 07:22
All but one of the nine patients in the UK who tested positive for the coronavirus have been discharged from hospital, the NHS has announced.
NHS England and NHS Improvement said on Saturday that eight people who had tested positive for Covid-19 had left hospital following two negative tests.
Currently, more than 100 people are in quarantine at the Kents Hill Park Hotel in Milton Keynes.
All 94 people in quarantine at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral have also been released, they added.
They had been kept in isolation at the hospital after returning to the UK from China, which has been the centre of the outbreak.
Another 143 deaths were reported early on Saturday morning, bringing the total to 1,523.
The total number of confirmed cases globally now stands at more than 67,000.
Professor Keith Willett, NHS strategic incident director, said: "The last guests have left Arrowe Park Hospital and I would once again like to thank them for the calm, patient and responsible way that they have responded to what must have been a trying situation.
"Over the coming weeks many more of us may need to spend some time at home to reduce the spread of the virus and they have set a great example.
"I would like to thank all those NHS staff and partners, as well as Public Health England, who have worked so hard to make their stay as comfortable as possible, those still caring for guests in Milton Keynes, and all the doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who have successfully treated patients at other hospitals.
"We must not forget the local residents, council staff, volunteers and numerous others who have rallied round to help our guests in their time of need. Thank you all."
Health Secretary Matt Hancock added: "I am also pleased that eight of the nine individuals who tested positive for coronavirus have now been successfully treated and discharged from hospital.
"Again, this is evidence of how well prepared our NHS is to deal with the Wuhan coronavirus.
"I want to stress that any individuals who are discharged from hospital are now well and do not pose any public health risk to the public."
The announcement comes after the first coronavirus death outside Asia was confirmed in France.
French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said an elderly Chinese tourist had become the first death to the virus in Europe, Reuters reported on Saturday.
Ms Buzyn said: "I was informed last night of the death of an 80-year-old patient who had been hospitalised... since January 25."
The patient, a Chinese tourist from the province of Hubei who had arrived in France on January 16, had a lung infection caused by the virus.
He was treated in hospital under strict isolation measures and his condition deteriorated rapidly.
His daughter was also taken to hospital but authorities say she is expected to recover.
As of Friday 2,964 people in the UK have been tested with 2,955 confirmed as negative and nine positive, Public Health England (PHE) have said.
Health officials in the UK have contacted more than 200 people who attended a conference in central London after it emerged one delegate was suffering from coronavirus.
PHE sent a letter to those who were at the UK Bus Summit at the QEII Centre in Westminster on February 6, including several MPs, two of whom have now decided to stay mostly at home.
Sources told the PA news agency the bus summit case is not linked to the UK's ninth case of coronavirus, who is a Chinese woman who took an Uber to A&E after she developed symptoms.
Two staff from Lewisham Hospital in south London are now in isolation at home after coming into contact with the woman.
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said on Thursday that many more people in the UK may need to self-isolate to contain the illness.