First coronavirus death recorded in UK
A woman with underlying health conditions has become the first person in the UK to die after testing positive for coronavirus.
The Royal Berkshire NHS Trust said the patient, understood to be in her 70s, had been “in and out of hospital for non-coronavirus reasons”.
She was admitted and tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday.
It comes as the number of UK people diagnosed with the virus reached 116, a rise of more than 30 in 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the prime minister’s official spokesman said it was “highly likely the virus is going to spread in a significant way”.
The woman, who was being treated at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, is believed to have caught the virus in the UK, said the country’s chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty.
She is not thought to have been abroad recently, BBC health correspondent Nick Triggle added.
Officials are now trying to trace the people she was in contact with.
Prof Whitty offered his sincere condolences to her family and friends and asked that their request for privacy is respected.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said “his sympathies are with the victim and their family”.
Mr Johnson reiterated that the UK was “still in the contain phase” – the first stage of the government’s response to the outbreak.
He said scientists and medical staff are making preparations for the next phase – the “delay” phase.