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Three new coronavirus cases related to Surrey patient

3 minute read
Three new coronavirus cases related to Surrey patient

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 7:54pm 1st March 2020. (Updated at 7:27am 2nd March 2020)

Three new COVID-19 patients are believed to have caught  the virus from a man in Haslemere.

They are members of his family and are all adults.

One is also from Surrey and two are from West Sussex.

Dr James Mapstone, acting regional director for the south of England for Public Health England, said it is providing specialist advice to local authority partners around the cases:

"The four cases are part of an adult family cluster.

"We are aware of the people they have been in contact with and we are making contact with those people to issue appropriate advice and steps to take if they start to feel unwell."

The Haslemere man tested positive last Friday - and is the first to have been infected within the UK.

Health officials are still trying to find out how he caught the illness in the country without having travelled abroad.

In total, 13 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the UK since yesterday (1 March)- including the first case in Scotland - bringing the total to 36, including one in Wales and one in Northern Irelandd.

It is the biggest jump in cases the UK has seen in one day - and means all four home nations have now been affected.

Another of the new cases, from Essex, has not been abroad and it is not clear where they picked up the virus.

The eight other new cases in England are believed to have caught the virus abroad:

  • One is from London
  • One is from Bury in Greater Manchester and had been to Italy
  • One is from Gloucestershire
  • Three are from West Yorkshire: one from Bradford who had been to Italy and two from Leeds who have visited Iran
  • Two are from Hertfordshire
  • The 13 new cases join three that were reported on Saturday (29 February): one from Hertfordshire, one from Gloucestershire (linked to Sunday's) and one from Berkshire.

Earlier, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that in the event of a widespread outbreak in the UK, all options to contain the virus would be on the table, including banning large events and locking down cities.

It comes as the government announced it has a "battle plan" to tackle coronavirus including bringing retired doctors back to work.

It is understood new emergency powers will be brought in to give schools, councils and other parts of the public sector powers to suspend laws - including rowing back on health and safety measures like allowing larger class sizes - to cope with a pandemic.

The government is also considering whether to encourage more home working and discourage unnecessary travel.

The strategy is based on its existing contingency plans for responding to a flu pandemic, but has been adapted to take into account the differences with COVID-19.

Worst-case-scenario plans show 80% of the population could contract the virus, with up to 500,000 deaths.

Find advice and information on coronavirus here.