Coronavirus: 42 more cases confirmed in UK as number of victims passes 200

7 March 2020, 15:22

A man wears a coronavirus mask on the London underground
A man wears a coronavirus mask on the London underground. Picture: PA

By Megan White

The number of coronavirus cases in the UK has passed 200, with over 21,000 people having been tested for the virus.

206 people have now been diagnosed with Covid-19, a rise of 42 since Friday, according to the Department of Health.

Two people who had tested positive for coronavirus have died in the UK, both pensioners.

On Thursday evening, the first patient, reported to be a woman in her 70s, died while at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.

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On Friday, a man in his early 80s, who had underlying health conditions, died at Milton Keynes University Hospital.

16 cases have been confirmed in Scotland, with five more people diagnosed on Saturday.

Two new cases have been reported in Lanarkshire, along with an increase of one case in Lothian, Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Grampian.

Empty shelves where toilet roll is usually stocked in Edgware, north west London
Empty shelves where toilet roll is usually stocked in Edgware, north west London. Picture: PA

The increase matches the jump seen on Friday, the biggest in a single day since the first reported case on Sunday.

In total, 1,664 of the 1,680 tests in Scotland have come back negative.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she expects the number of people diagnosed with Covid-19 - the illness cause by this type of coronavirus - to increase "very rapidly" in the coming days, but hoped to push back the spread of the virus to limit the peak of the outbreak until the spring and summer months.

England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty has said the UK is moving from the "contain" phase to the "delay" phase in dealing with the outbreak.

One of the confirmed cases is known to be a member of the Scottish female rugby team.

Scottish Rugby made the announcement on Friday, saying the planned women's Six Nations match scheduled to take place at the Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow against France had also been cancelled.

Seven players and team staff were forced to self-isolate following medical advice.

The stadium and adjoining leisure centre were also closed by Glasgow Life - the agency tasked with running the city's leisure facilities - following the announcement.

It is understood the player, who has not been named, had used the facilities and the decision was taken to close it down as a precaution.

The updated figures come as US authorities prepare to respond to a coronavirus-hit cruise ship carrying British passengers off the Californian coast, after 21 people on board tested positive for the illness.

US Vice-President Mike Pence said on Friday that the Grand Princess, carrying more than 3,500 people on board, including 140 Britons, had been directed to a non-commercial port for testing.