A man in his 60s, who had underlying health problems, has died at North Manchester General Hospital after testing positive for coronavirus having recently returned from Italy, NHS England said.
The man is the third patient to die after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK.
A spokesman for North Manchester General Hospital said: “We can confirm that sadly a patient being treated for Covid-19 has died at our specialist regional Infectious Diseases unit at North Manchester General Hospital.
“The man in his sixties tested positive after travelling to Italy and had a number of underlying health problems. Our thoughts are with the patient’s family who are being supported by our specialist bereavement staff.”
The previous two deaths, again people with other health concerns, were reported in Berkshire and Milton Keynes.
England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said: “I am very sorry to report that a third patient in England who tested positive for Covid-19 has sadly died. I offer my sincere condolences to their family and friends and ask that their privacy is respected.
“The patient, who was being treated at the North Manchester General Hospital, was over 60 years old and had significant underlying health conditions.
“They had recently travelled from an affected area. Contact tracing is already underway.”
Earlier today Public Health England confirmed there were a total of 273 cases of the virus confirmed in the UK.
The Foreign Office are now also advising against all but essential travel to areas of Northern Italy – where around 16 million people have been quarantined following an outbreak in the north of the country.
Four cases have so far been confirmed in Staffordshire – with a school in Tamworth confirming it will be shut for cleaning for tomorrow after a member of staff tested positive.
No confirmed cases are yet reported in Stoke-on-Trent or Cheshire East, but a person from outside the area is being treated at Royal Stoke University Hospital.