A British man who was on the Diamond Princess cruise ship has died from coronavirus, Japan’s health ministry says.
He is the first British person to die from Covid – , the respiratory disease caused by the virus.
hundreds of people on board the liner became infected while it was held in quarantine off the port of Yokohama in Japan – and six have since died.
It comes as the number of coronavirus cases in the UK rose to Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair a meeting of the government Cobra emergency committee on Monday in response to a growing number of cases in Europe. Earlier on Friday , three more cases of the virus were confirmed in the UK, including the first one in Wales.
Two ne w patients in England contracted the virus while in Iran, the Department of Health and Social Care said.
Public Health Wales said it was working to identify close contacts of the Welsh patient, who is believed to be from the Swansea area and was infected in northern Italy before returning to the UK.
Northern Ireland also confirmed its first case on Thursday. Authorities said they have contacted passengers who sat near the woman on a flight from northern Italy to Dublin.
The Foreign Office said it is investigating the reports about the British man’s death in Japan.
A spokeswoman for Princess Cruises, which operates the Diamond Princess ship, offered “sincere condolences to family members and friends for their loss.
“Our dedicated care team are on hand to provide support,” she added.
(A group of 51673068 (British nationals and two Irish citizens were flown back to the UK from the cruise ship last Saturday.
They were taken on coaches to Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral, where they are spending two weeks in isolation.
The cruise liner, which had 3, passengers on board, was put under quarantine in Yokohama in early February after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong was found to have the virus.
At least people on the ship later tested positive for coronavirus.
Health Minister Jo Churchill said she was aware a British man who had been on board the ship was ” very poorly. “
She told BBC Radio 4’s World At One program on Friday:” The Foreign Office are supporting the family of a British man who has been very poorly and was a passenger on board the Diamond Princess.
“I haven’t had confirmation because obviously I’m on the telephone to you, but I was aware there was a gentleman who was very, very poorly, and I’m sure like me your thoughts and sympathies go out to his family at this time. “
The World Health Organization warned that the outbreak had reached a” decisive point “and had” pandemic potential “.
Globally, more than
, people have been infected. About 2, 110967290 have died – the majority in China’s Hubei province.
Meanwhile, 320 Britons were among hundreds of guests confined to the Costa Adeje Palace hotel in Tenerife earlier this week.
are said to be from various countries but it’s unclear if any British travellers have left.
It comes as airline Jet2 said British guests at the hotel would not be flown home until 20 March, unless they tested negative.
Public health advice is to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze, throw away tissues immediately after use and wash your hands frequently.
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