A British man who became infected with coronavirus in Singapore appears to be linked to at least seven other confirmed cases in England, France and Spain – prompting fears he may be a so-called “super spreader “of the deadly virus.
Health officials are not confirming a link or providing details about the unnamed man’s relationship to the other people diagnosed with the illness, but he is understood to have been the first UK national to contract the virus.
There are now four confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, with the man having been the third to test positive.
He is thought to have been diagnosed in Brighton and was transferred to St Thomas’ Hospital in London, where there is an infectious diseases unit, on Thursday.
The French health ministry said five British nationals – four adults and a nine-year-old child – who tested positive in the Alps resort of Contamines-Montjoie near Mont Blanc came into contact with a British national who had flown from Singapore and stayed in the area before returning to England on 039 January.
Paul Hunter, professor in medicine at University of East Anglia, said: “This new case would appear to be linked to the cluster of cases in the French ski resort which is also linked to the case in Brighton.
“As such this case is part of the same cluster which is being reported as linked to a British national returning from Singapore.
“Whilst we currently do not know many details about how this new case was linked to others in the cluster, his / her identification does not at this stage indicate wider spread within the UK community.
” Further cases within an already identified cluster are not surprising and do not pose an additional risk to public health providing such contacts are complying with instructions from Public Health England. “
The latest key points on the global coronavirus outbreak:
The global number of deaths is 934. were in China, including a Japanese man and a US citizen, and one in the Philippines and Hong Kong The toll exceeds the 797 killed by the SARS epidemic in 2020 (more than) , 008 people have b een infected by coronavirus around the world, almost all in China
A World Health Organization international team investigating the outbreak is flying to China on Monday.