The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has claimed its first British victim, according to reports.
A man from Britain who was a passenger on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, which was placed in quarantine near Yokohama in Japan, is reported to have died.
Japan’s Kyodo news agency announced news of the man’s death this afternoon (February 28 2020), according to the Evening Standard.
He one of several people who were aboard the ship to die from the flu-like virus – and the first British person so far to succumb to the deadly bug.
His death follows reports that as much as 80 per cent of the UK population could eventually be infected with coronavirus.
A National Security Communications Team document reportedly seen by The Sun suggested that four in five people in the UK could contract Covid-19.
The percentage is equivalent to more than 50 million people and would lead to around 500,000 deaths, as experts have said the disease is believed to have a mortality rate of around one per cent.
As reported by the Evening Standard, Scotland’s chief medical officer confirmed that emergency preparation has been ramped up across the UK to ensure effective measures are in place should such a situation become a reality.
We expect coronavirus to have some impact on the UK.
A spokesperson for the Government confirmed to the publication that ministers are preparing for “every eventuality”, including “the reasonable worst case scenario” – but pointed out that such measures don’t mean it is “expected”.
They said: “We have been clear from the outset that we expect coronavirus to have some impact on the UK, which is why we are planning for every eventuality – including the reasonable worst case scenario. Crucially this does not mean we expect it to happen.”
Elsewhere, thousands of British people hoping to escape the ongoing poor weather are facing the prospect of having their holidays cancelled as British Airways has shut down flights to part of coronavirus-hit Italy.
A number of towns in the north of the country are in the grip of coronavirus, with the UK Government advising against all but “essential” travel there”.
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