The coronavirus crisis has claimed two more lives in the UK, the NHS has confirmed.
Both patients, whose deaths have brought the UK total to eight, were described as elderly and being treated for underlying health conditions.
One was being cared for in Nuneaton, Warwickshire and the other in Dudley, West Midlands, Metro reported.
Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust’s chief executive, Diane Wake, said in a statement: “The Trust can confirm that a patient in their 70s being treated for underlying health conditions has died. The patient had tested positive for Covid-19.”
George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust’s medical director, Dr Catherine Free, likewise confirmed an elderly patient being treated for “serious underlying health conditions” had died.
The families of both patients have reportedly been informed.
The patient had tested positive for Covid-19.
Prof. Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England and the Government’s Chief Medical Advisor, said: “I am sorry to confirm a seventh and eighth patient in England who tested positive for COVID-19 have sadly died. I offer my sincere condolences to their families and friends and ask that their privacy is respected.”
On Wednesday, the number of cases of the flu-like bug in the UK had risen to 460, according to the BBC.
And the World Health Organisation (WHO) has now officially labelled the outbreak a pandemic.
WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the number of coronavirus cases identified outside of China – the epicentre of the virus – had increased 13-fold in just two weeks.
Admitting he was “deeply concerned” at the “alarming levels of inaction”, Dr Tedros called on governments around the world to take “urgent and aggressive action” as he said: “Several countries have demonstrated that this virus can be suppressed and controlled.
“The challenge for many countries who are now dealing with large clusters or community transmission is not whether they can do the same – it’s whether they will,” he added, as reported by the BBC.
Earlier this week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a number of measures to support the UK as the outbreak continues to escalate – including new rules to help those having to take time off work to self-isolate.
Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think of this story.