LONDON: A third person in the United Kingdom has tested positive for novel coronavirus, England's chief medical officer said on Thursday (Feb 6).
"A further patient has tested positive for coronavirus bringing the total number of cases in the UK to three," Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said. "The individual did not acquire this in the UK."
"We are now working quickly to identify any contacts the patient has had," Whitty said.
The patient is being transferred to a specialist health service centre. The first two people in Britain to be diagnosed with the virus are being treated at a hospital in Newcastle, northeast England, Britain's health ministry said last week.
Two patients from the same family in England had previously tested positive for coronavirus, the first such cases in Britain.
British health officials had previously warned that the United Kingdom was highly likely to have cases of the new type of coronavirus, which first emerged in China's central province of Hubei and has killed more than 560 people so far.
Coronavirus spread among passengers of a quarantined Japanese cruise liner on Thursday and dragged down production at more global businesses, as scientists across the world searched for a vaccine.
China reported its biggest daily jump in fatalities from the virus on Thursday, up 73 to 563, although there have been only two reported deaths outside mainland China.
The epidemic, which has spiralled into a global health emergency, is believed to have emerged in December from a market that sold wild game in Hubei's capital Wuhan.