Coronavirus: UK cases rise to 163


NHS 111 centre in ScotlandImage copyright
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The number of coronavirus cases in the UK has now reached 163, the government has confirmed.

The latest figure includes 147 cases in England, 11 in Scotland, three in Northern Ireland and two in Wales.

The Department of Health said as of 7:00 GMT on Friday, more than 20,000 people had been tested.

The UK’s first death linked to the virus was announced on Thursday, after a woman in her 70s with underlying health conditions died in hospital.

As well as her death in the UK, a British man also died from the virus last month after being infected on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off the coast of Japan.

The latest figures mark an increase of 48 cases since the previous day.

Of the 147 cases in England there are:

  • 29 in London
  • 24 in the South East
  • 22 in the South West
  • 21 in the North West
  • 13 in the North East and Yorkshire
  • 12 in the Midlands
  • 11 in the East of England
  • 15 not yet confirmed

In Scotland, there are two cases in Fife, three in Grampian, two in Forth Valley and one each in Lothian, Tayside, Ayrshire & Arran and Greater Glasgow & Clyde.

Earlier, the UK government pledged to spend £46m on urgent work to find a vaccine for the virus and develop a rapid test for the disease.

The money will fund work on eight possible vaccines which are already in development as well as a lab in Bedford to try to create a test that could provide results within 20 minutes.

Currently, tests take a couple of days to provide results.

In other developments:

  • British Airways said two members of their staff – believed to be from the baggage team – had tested positive for Covid-19. The two employees are now self-isolating at home
  • More than 140 British nationals – including 21 crew members – are stranded on a cruise ship which has been prevented from docking in San Francisco while tests are carried out
  • A church in Devon has been closed for a deep clean after a parishioner tested positive and a Hare Krishna temple near Watford has also closed because of a coronavirus case among its congregation
  • The latest drive-through coronavirus test centre has opened, this time in north-east Wales, where people do not need to leave their cars to be tested



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