Coronavirus: 1,380 deaths in China as NHS warns more may need to self-isolate

14 February 2020, 06:25

Medical staff tend to a baby infected with coronavirus
Medical staff tend to a baby infected with coronavirus. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The coronavirus outbreak in China has now claimed 1,380 lives as the number of cases of COVID-19 jumped overnight to 63,581.

The news comes as travel firms reveal UK holidaymakers are shunning trips to the Far East because of the outbreak.

Customers who had already booked trips to mainland China before the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advised against all but essential travel to the country are being offered a full refund.

Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS, said on Thursday that many more people in the UK may need to self-isolate to contain the illness, which has been officially named Covid-19.

More than 80 people quarantined at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral were allowed to leave following 14 days in isolation, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirming they pose "no risk to the public".

Suspected cases of coronavirus are still being tested, including one mother who told The Sun that her eight-month-old son had come into contact with an infected doctor while being treated for a leg injury at Worthing Hospital.

Stephanie Adlan, 28, said she was "terrified" for son James and has self-isolated with her family but criticised medics at the hospital for a lack of information.

She told the paper: "I've had nothing from the hospital. Not a 'How are you?' or 'What's going on?' 'How's the baby?' We've just been told to stay indoors and call 111 if our symptoms get worse."

It comes as it emerged the woman who is the UK's ninth case of coronavirus took an Uber to A&E after she developed symptoms.

The unnamed woman, who is being treated at a specialist NHS centre at Guy's and St Thomas', contracted the virus in China before flying to the UK.

Two staff from Lewisham hospital in south London are now in isolation at home after coming into contact with the woman.

A total of 44 more people on the quarantined cruise ship the Diamond Princess in Japan have tested positive for Covid-19 disease. Two of those are Britons, taking the number of Britons on the ship diagnosed with coronavirus to three.

Japan also confirmed its first death from the virus on Thursday.

More than 560 cases have been confirmed outside mainland China and there have been three deaths, one each in the Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan.

In an unprecedented attempt to contain the disease, the Chinese government has placed the hardest-hit cities - home to more than 60 million - under lockdown.

People are restricted from entering or leaving the cities, and in many places can only leave their homes or residential complexes for shopping and other daily needs.