Fourth coronavirus death in the UK, as number of confirmed cases rises to 319

A fourth person in the UK has died after contracting coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases in the country rises to 319.

Monday, 9th March 2020, 4:36 pm
Updated Monday, 9th March 2020, 4:36 pm

Addressing parliament this afternoon, health secretary Matt Hancock said: “Here in the UK, as of this morning, there were 319 confirmed cases. Very sadly this now includes four confirmed deaths.

“I entirely understand why people are worried and concerned, and we send our condolences to the familes.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock (pic: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

“The UK response is guided by our four point action plan. We continue to work to contain the virus but we’re also taking action to delay its impact, to fund research and to mitigate its consequences.

“Throughout, our approach is guided by the science. That is the bedrock on which we base all our decisions.”

Mr Hancock said that while the number of cases in China and South Korea was rising at a ‘slowing rate’ the outbreak continued to grow in countries including Italy, where 1,492 more cases and 102 extra deaths were confirmed overnight.

He told how the Government had made a further £46 million available to find a vaccine and develop more rapid diagnostic tests, and an extra 700 people had been brought in to answer the growing number of calls to the NHS 111 helpline.

He also said Public Health England had tested nearly 25,000 peopled to date and was bringing in a new testing system with faster results.