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Coronavirus: Five Brits in French ski chalet catch virus

Five Britons have tested positive for coronavirus in France, local health officials have confirmed.

Four adults and a child were diagnosed with the virus, after a British national who recently returned from Singapore visited the French Alps.

The French health minister said they all stayed in the same ski chalet in the Haute-Savoie region.

There have been three cases of coronavirus in the UK so far and almost 35,000 cases globally, mostly in China.

UK citizens who travelled on two repatriation flights from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the centre of the coronavirus, are in quarantine at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral.

A third flight to the UK will depart on Sunday with around 150 Britons, who will be taken to a conference centre in Milton Keynes for a 14-day quarantine.

The new cases all stem from a British national who arrived at Contamines-Montjoie ski resort on 24 January for a four-day trip.

The Briton had travelled from Singapore, where he stayed from 20 to 23 January.

A total of 11 Britons staying at the chalet in eastern France were hospitalised in Lyon, Saint-Etienne and Grenoble on Friday night.

Health Minister Agnès Buzyn said on Saturday that none of the group is in a serious condition.

It comes as four members of the same British family were admitted to hospital in Majorca after contact with a coronavirus carrier.

They are being tested at the University Hospital of Son Espases in Palma.

The British family said they had been in contact with a person who recently tested positive for the virus in France, the government in Spain’s Balearic Islands said.

Meanwhile, a British man transferred from a cruise ship off the coast of Japan on Friday after testing positive for the virus is said to be feeling well and in good spirits.

Alan Steele, from Wolverhampton, on his honeymoon with his wife Wendy, was among 61 people to be taken off the ship for hospital treatment.

She has been in telephone contact with her husband, and said in a Facebook post on Saturday that he was still feeling healthy.

The latest British nationals to be flown out of Wuhan on Sunday will be taken to Kents Hill Park, a training and conference venue on the outskirts of Milton Keynes.

Milton Keynes University Hospitals NHS Trust said there was no risk to local people as anyone showing symptoms would not be allowed to board the plane.

The Department of Health and Social Care said that 620 people in the UK have been tested for coronavirus as of Friday afternoon, with three cases confirmed.

The third patient caught the virus at a business conference in Singapore, the BBC’s Hugh Pym says.

He is thought to have tested positive for the virus in Brighton and called NHS 111 from home for advice before going by arrangement to an isolation facility at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

The two other UK cases – both Chinese nationals – are being treated at the Royal Victoria Infirmary infectious diseases centre in Newcastle.

In mainland China, the death toll rose to 722 on Saturday, while the number of confirmed cases stands at 34,546.

Outside China, 270 cases have been confirmed in 25 countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), with two fatalities – one in Hong Kong and another in the Philippines.

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