UK coronavirus cases rise to 16 after first patient diagnosed in Northern Ireland

27 February 2020, 23:57 | Updated: 28 February 2020, 00:01

The UK now has 16 cases of Covid-19
The UK now has 16 cases of Covid-19. Picture: PA

The first case of coronavirus in Northern Ireland has been confirmed, bringing to total number of infected people in the UK to 16.

Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland Dr Michael McBride said one person has been confirmed to have been infected, and has had a "presumptive positive test" for the virus.

A second test will also be done in England for a second confirmation.

Dr McBride added the patient is an adult who returned from northern Italy to the Republic of Ireland before travelling to Northern Ireland.

The person is now the 16th in the UK to be diagnosed with the disease, after two more people in England were confirmed to have it earlier today.

Dr McBride added: "We have been planning for the first positive case in Northern Ireland and have made clear that it was a question of when not if.

Northern Ireland confirmed its first case of coronavirus on Thursday evening
Northern Ireland confirmed its first case of coronavirus on Thursday evening. Picture: PA

"We have robust infection control measures in place which enable us to respond immediately. Our health service is used to managing infections and would assure the public that we are prepared.

"Our advice to the public remains the same. Members of the public who have visited affected regions and have symptoms are advised to self-isolate at home and contact their GP in the first instance. Advice will then be given on next steps, including testing if required."

An isolation unit has been made available in Belfast for any cases to receive medical treatment.

The two new cases confirmed in England returned to the UK from Italy and Tenerife, the department of health has said.

One of the confirmed cases originates in Buxton, Derbyshire, where a school and NHS GP surgery have shut. 

Callers to Buxton Medical Practice are greeted with an automated message that says: "We have a confirmed case of the coronavirus. We are liaising with PHE and the CCG to ensure all appropriate actions are taken. Please do not come to the practice."

A school in the town has closed after a parent reportedly was diagnosed with the illness. 

Burbage Primary school said a parent was diagnosed with COVID-19.

The school posted on Facebook last night: "Burbage primary school in Buxton shall be CLOSED tomorrow (27th) due to a confirmed case of corona virus amongst their parent population.

"This is a precautionary measure and to enable a deep clean of the school to be completed.

"Once again let me stress this is just precautionary measures and for the safety and protection of children and teachers so that the school can be cleaned.

2,817 people have so far died worldwide
2,817 people have so far died worldwide. Picture: PA

"There's no context or explanation as to whether the parent has actually been on the school premises. I would think its a very precautionary measure and not to panic at this stage."

More than 82,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide as the deadly illness has gripped every continent bar Antarctica.

Schools across the country have defied government advice in closing their doors to protect against coronavirus.

At least eight have shut, while others have sent pupils home amid fears they may have been exposed to coronavirus during trips to northern Italy.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte's primary school, Thomas's Battersea, is among those hit by the precautionary measures, with four pupils reportedly sent home to self-isolate following a trip to northern Italy.

UK health secretary Matt Hancock has warned against a "mass panic" over COVID-19, as the latest strand of coronavirus is known, but admitted the UK expects more cases.

Travellers returning to the UK from northern Italy were told they may need to self-isolate as part of measures to stop the spread of illness.

The Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to 10 towns in Lombardy (Codogno, Castiglione d'Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano) and one in Veneto (Vo'Euganeo).

And officials denied there were any plans to evacuate the Britons at a hotel in Tenerife under quarantine, instead arranging for written messages to be put under the doors of the rooms of British guests asking them to get in contact.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Police officers pursue a deer down a hallway at Cedar Grove Elementary School in Toms River, New Jersey

Deer’s escape after breaking into US school captured on police bodycams


US and allies in talks on naval task force after Houthi attacks in Red Sea

The guidance has recommended a number of methods to ensure children cannot access the adult sites.

Age estimation tech could be used to prevent children accessing pornographic sites, new Ofcom guidance says

Rockstar Games released the trailer early after a leak.

Rockstar drops GTA 6 trailer a day early after online leak

A builder has pleaded guilty to the murder of a woman he was building an extension for.

Builder admits to murdering woman, 58, he met through church friends after row over extension

Police officers stand by the tail of a small plane that made an emergency landing in Villejuif, outside Paris

Small plane makes emergency landing in Paris suburbs

The mayor of Kyiv has claimed president Zelenskyy is becoming increasingly autocratic.

‘Zelenskyy is becoming an autocrat’ Kyiv mayor Klitschko says, as he warns Ukraine will soon be 'no different to Russia'

Actor Jonathan Majors arrives at court in New York

Jonathan Majors assault trial starts with competing versions of confrontation

Wood drove 158 metres with Mr Watson under the car.

'It's fine, I deserve it': Woman arrested after running over and killing boyfriend, dragging his body nearly 160 metres

Manuel Rocha when he was US ambassador to Bolivia

Former career US diplomat charged with secretly spying for Cuba for decades

The infected blood scandal tore Tony's family apart.

'The family imploded': Son of haemophiliac tells Andrew Marr how infected blood scandal tore his family apart

A UK city has been crowned the prettiest in the world, according to a study.

UK city crowned ‘prettiest in the world’ - putting Venice in second place

Jonathan Majors domestic abuse trial started today

Marvel star Jonathan Majors 'hit ex-girlfriend over the head to cover up infidelity', court hears

Aitana was created by an AI modelling agency.

‘Spanish influencer’ created entirely by AI generates its modelling agency £9,000 a month with 200,000 followers

In his victory speech in November, Mr Milei promised Argentina that "the reconstruction of Argentina begins."

'It's not a joke, it's a provocation!': Argentina launches another attack on Britain amid Falklands row

Home Secretary James Cleverly

‘Enough is enough’: Ministers outline five-point plan to slash migration by 300,000