First UK death from coronavirus confirmed as cases surge to 116

In a change of policy, some confirmed cases are now treated at home rather than in hospital

A woman in her 70s was confirmed as the first coronavirus death in the UK on Thursday as Downing Street warned that it was now highly likely that the virus would spread in “a significant way”.

It was thought she contracted the virus in the UK and had not been in contact with any other known cases. The woman, who was admitted to the Royal Berkshire hospital in Reading on Wednesday, had been “in and out of hospital” with underlying health conditions, the hospital said. The unnamed victim was tested on Wednesday but results only came back after she died early on Thursday morning. Boris Johnson said that “our sympathies are very much with the victim and their family”.

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