Third UK patient confirmed to have coronavirus

6 February 2020, 16:30

A woman walks in a mask in a street in Manchester
A woman walks in a mask in a street in Manchester. Picture: PA

A third case of coronavirus has been identified in the United Kingdom.

The Department of Health announced today that the person had been confirmed to have the deadly virus, which originated in Wuhan in China.

They were diagnosed in Brighton and taken for treatment in London, the Guardian reported.

A statement from the health department did not provide specific details about the case but said the person did not contract the virus in the UK.

"The patient is being transferred to a specialist NHS centre, and we are using robust infection control measures to prevent any possible further spread of the virus," it said.

"The NHS is well prepared to manage these cases and we are now working quickly to identify any contacts the patient has had."

Confirmation of the third British case came just hours after China bumped its numbers of those infected from 3,694 to more than 28,000.

The death toll also jumped from 73 people to 563.

Also on Thursday, the Chinese ambassador to the UK defended China's response to the outbreak and said he was "fully confident" it would beat the virus.

He also pointed toward the mortality rate which he said was "much lower" than outbreaks of Ebola, Sars, and Mers.

"China is open, transparent and responsible," he said.

So far, 94 British nationals have been flown home from China and are being held in quarantine at a hospital in the Wirral.

A final repatriation flight has been chartered to arrive at RAF Brize Norton on Sunday.

According to reports, 165 Britons and their dependants remain in Hubei province - the epicentre of the outbreak - while 108 people have requested assistance to leave.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said the outbreak has not yet reached the level of a pandemic, but has appealed for £520 million in donations to help stop the virus from spreading.

It is understood the British government is considering how much to contribute, while the Irish Government pledged £425,000.