Britain confirms 3rd case of coronavirus, scrambles to detect patient’s contacts

Passengers screened to prevent the spread of coronavirus before they board a cruise in Colombo. (AP pic)

LONDON: A third person in the United Kingdom has tested positive for coronavirus, England’s chief medical officer said on Thursday.

“A further patient has tested positive for coronavirus bringing the total number of cases in the UK to three,” Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said. “The individual did not acquire this in the UK.”

“We are now working quickly to identify any contacts the patient has had,” Whitty said.

The patient is being transferred to a specialist health service centre.

The first two people in Britain to be diagnosed with the virus are being treated at a hospital in Newcastle, northeast England, Britain’s health ministry said last week.

Coronavirus spread among passengers of a quarantined Japanese cruise liner on Thursday and dragged down production at more global businesses, as scientists across the world searched for a vaccine.

The death toll from the virus in mainland China jumped by 73 to 563, with more than 28,000 confirmed infections inside the workshop of the world and its second-largest economy.