A FOURTH case of coronavirus in the UK was confirmed yesterday — as more Brits abroad were diagnosed with the deadly illness.
The latest patient is thought to have caught the virus at a French ski resort where five other Britons, including environmental consultant Bob Saynor, 48, and his nine-year-old son, were diagnosed at the weekend. Mr Saynor moved to France three years ago with his wife Catriona, who is a doctor.
Another British guest at the resort who then travelled to Majorca also tested positive for the disease, the government in the Balearic Islands said.
All came into contact with a middle-aged British man staying at the French resort in the village of Les Contamines-Montjoie near Megève.
He was the third person in the UK to be diagnosed after he returned to England and walked into A&E at a Brighton hospital. Officials have said they are ‘working hard’ to trace anyone else who has recently spent time with him. It is thought he became infected while attending a conference in Singapore but then went to France for a four-day stay before returning to Britain.
Authorities are now trying to trace around 100 international delegates who went to the conference at the five-star Grand Hyatt hotel in Singapore.
It was reportedly organised by UK global gas analysis company Servomex, which has offices in Asia and Europe. Three other attendees have also since tested positive — one in Malaysia and two in South Korea.
The Department of Health said 795 tests on suspected cases have been carried out in the UK. Chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty praised the latest UK victim for following NHS advice to self-isolate rather than go to A&E. He added: ‘The NHS is extremely well prepared to manage these cases and treat them, and we are working quickly to identify any further contacts the patient has had.’
The fourth UK patient is being treated at London’s Royal Free Hospital, while the third is at St Thomas’ in the capital. A Chinese university student and his mother are in hospital in Newcastle.
■ CORONAVIRUS is a bigger global threat than ebola, a top scientist has warned. Prof Peter Piot, who co-discovered the ebola virus, said Britain could suffer a ‘major outbreak’ of the disease — and it’s likely to become a pandemic. He told The Sunday Times: ‘Because of the mode of transmission… the potential for spread is much, much higher.’ More than 11,000 people died during the ebola outbreak in west Africa between 2014 and 2016.