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Third patient tests positive for coronavirus in UK as expert warns it won't be 'unexpected' if case confirmed in Ireland

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Facing up: The coronavirus started in China but has spread to other regions

Facing up: The coronavirus started in China but has spread to other regions

REUTERS

Facing up: The coronavirus started in China but has spread to other regions

A third patient in the UK has tested positive for coronavirus.

The individual, who caught the infection abroad, is being taken to a specialist NHS treatment centre.

"We are using robust infection control measures to prevent any possible further spread of the virus," Prof Chris Whitty, chief medical officer said.

The virus has infected 28,018 worldwide and killed 565 people, mostly in China.

The NHS was "well prepared" to manage cases, Prof Whitty added, saying "we are now working quickly to identify any contacts the patient has had".

Two other patients - both Chinese nationals - are still being treated at the Royal Victoria Infirmary infectious diseases centre in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The patients - a university of York student and one of their relatives - tested positive for the virus after falling ill at a hotel in York.

Meanwhile, the chair of the new Coronavirus Expert Advisory Group in Ireland said it would not be “unexpected” if a case of coronavirus was confirmed here.

Dr Cillian De Gascun said, head of the National Virus Laboratory in UCS said however, that 99pc of cases are still in China and there are no direct flights from China to Ireland, which is an important factor.

The couple of weeks will tell if China's containment efforts have been successful, adding that there has not been sustained human-to-human transmission in any country outside China since the outbreak, which is positive, he told RTE.

Nurses and doctors treat patients arriving at the new hospital in Wuhan. The hospital was built in 10 days as part of China's sweeping efforts to fight a viral outbreak that is causing global alarm. Wuhan continues to be on lockdown and is barring anyone from leaving.

Dr De Gascun said there was still a lot that was unknown about the virus and while there is a lot of fundamental science and information that needs to be collected, it is not believed to be readily transmissible from person to person, which is why there has not been a huge spread outside China.He said that it would be advisable not to undertake non-essential travel to China.

Online Editors