British pensioner 'tests positive for coronavirus' in Chile

15 March 2020, 10:25

Older people are at a higher risk of contracting coronavirus
Older people are at a higher risk of contracting coronavirus. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

An 83-year-old British man has tested positive for Covid-19 after leaving a cruise ship in Chile, local media have reported.

The UK national was travelling on the Silver Explorer cruise liner but is in a "good condition" despite contracting coronavirus, according to Chilean health minister Jaime Manalich.

He is now being looked after in a hospital in Coyhaique, Patagonia, a report in a Chilean newspaper has said.

Nearly 1,300 passengers on board the Silver Explorer and another ship in the port of Chacabuco have been quarantined in the country.

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Following the Brit's diagnosis, the 500 residents of Caleta Tortel have also been restricted for a fortnight after the passenger was in contact with several members of the community, the Chilean health ministry said.

So far, 21 people in the UK have died from coronavirus and there have been a total of 1,140 confirmed cases.

On Sunday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that people over the age of 70 will soon be urged to self-isolate in order to protect themselves from Covid-19.

He also told Sky News' Sophy Ridge that the UK needed more ventilators and beds to help cope with the increased demand on the NHS brought on by the disease.