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JUST IN: UK coronavirus cases double as four more test positive

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK has doubled as four more people have tested positive, the Department of Health said.

They were all infected after coming into contact with the UK’s third confirmed coronavirus patient in a French ski resort, the department added.

The four new patients have been transferred to infectious disease units at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and The Royal Free hospitals in London.

French authorities said on Sunday five Britons, including a five-year-old child, who were staying in the same chalet as the third patient to be confirmed in the UK had been diagnosed with the disease.

A student at the University of York and their relative were the  first people in the UK to test positive  for the virus on 31 January, having recently returned from China.

On 6 February, a third person – the first British national – tested positive for coronavirus in the UK and is suspected of being a “super spreader”, after being infected in Singapore then being linked to at least seven confirmed cases in England, France and Spain.

And on 9 February, a  fourth person was confirmed  as having the virus, having acquired it in the French Alps ski resort of Les Contamines-Montjoie where they had been staying in a chalet with the UK’s third confirmed case.

The third patient is believed to have infected five Britons, including a nine-year-old child, staying at the chalet as part of a group of 11 Britons.

A British family of four is being tested for coronavirus in Majorca after coming into contact with the third patient in France.

Following the arrival of the UK’s second evacuation flight from Wuhan on Sunday, the government declared on Monday the spread of coronavirus is a “serious and imminent threat” to the British public – giving health professionals legal powers to keep those in supported isolation safe.

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