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Dublin: 0°C Friday 22 January 2021

Coronavirus: Four more patients test positive after meeting with businessman

The British businessman, who caught coronavirus in Singapore, is being treated at the specialist infectious diseases unit at St Thomas’ in London.

Passengers in the arrivals concourse at Heathrow Terminal 4.
Passengers in the arrivals concourse at Heathrow Terminal 4.

FOUR MORE PATIENTS in England have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to eight.

The four people infected are all understood to be contacts of a businessman who was diagnosed in Brighton last week and who contracted the virus at a conference in Singapore.

It comes as a doctor’s surgery in Brighton closed after a staff member became infected, and as the Government introduced new powers to forcibly quarantine anyone with the virus.

The businessman infected in Singapore stopped at a chalet in a ski region of France – where five other Britons were subsequently taken ill with the virus – before heading back to the UK.

The Department of Health confirmed the four people newly-diagnosed contracted the virus in France and are being treated at specialist infection centres at St Thomas’ and the Royal Free hospitals in London.

The Guardian reported that the four people are three men and one woman.

One of the men is understood to be a doctor who was part of a group that were skiing in the resort near Chamonix with the businessman, who is being treated at the specialist infectious diseases unit at St Thomas’.

The five British nationals being treated in France were diagnosed after they came into contact with the businessman, according to the French health ministry.

The four adults and a nine-year-old child, who are not in a serious condition, were staying in the Alpine resort area of Contamines-Montjoie near Mont Blanc.

EasyJet confirmed that the businessman flew from Geneva back to the UK on January 28 on flight EZS8481, and Public Health England is trying to trace other passengers who might be at risk.

The businessman is also linked to a British man in Majorca who tested positive for coronavirus, while his wife and two daughters tested negative.

spread Source: PA Grpahics

A fourth UK case, diagnosed on Sunday, who is being treated at the Royal Free Hospital in London, is also “a known contact of a previously confirmed UK case, and the virus was passed on in France”, England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty said yesterday.

Once back in the UK, the Brighton businessman visited The Grenadier pub in Hove, which said it has been told by Public Health England there is “minimal ongoing risk of infection to either guests or staff”.

The County Oak Medical Centre in Brighton said it had closed “because of an urgent operational health and safety reason”, after a member of staff there became one of those infected.

People wearing protective full body suits and gloves were seen cleaning the centre in footage shared online, while sources told the PA news agency the member of staff only came into contact with a handful of patients in the past few weeks.

The developments come as the Government declared coronavirus a “serious and imminent threat to public health”.

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