Person from Essex tests positive for coronavirus

People wearing face masks on the London Underground Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

People wearing face masks on the London Underground Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A person from Essex has tested positive for coronavirus – bringing the total number of UK cases to 35.

Twelve more people have tested positive for the virus, chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said.

It is not yet clear how the person from Essex contracted the virus.

A statement from Professor Whitty said: "As of 9am this morning 12 further patients in England have tested positive for COVID-19.

"Three patients were close contacts of a known case, transmitted in the UK, identified as part of contact tracing.

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"One patient, resident in Essex, had no relevant travel and it is not yet clear whether they contracted it directly or indirectly from an individual who had recently returned from abroad; investigations are ongoing.

"Of the remaining eight cases, six had recently travelled from Italy and two from Iran.

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"The patients who have recently travelled are from London, West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Hertfordshire and Gloucestershire. All are being investigated and contact tracing has begun."

He added: "The total number of confirmed cases in England is now 33. Following previously reported confirmed cases in Northern Ireland and Wales, the total number of UK cases is 35."

Travellers from Wuhan and Hubei province in China are still under strict direction to self-isolate if they have arrived in the country in the last 14 days.

Those doing so should stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu, call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the area and follow advice even if you have no symptoms of the virus.

Travellers from other parts of China and other specified areas - a full list can be found on the government's website - including northern Italy, that develop symptoms of a cough, fever or shortness of breath should do the same.

More: Patient becomes third to test negative for coronavirus in Suffolk

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