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Coronavirus: Man in his 60s becomes third UK death

A man in his 60s has become the third person in the UK to die after testing positive for coronavirus.

The man, who had “significant” underlying health problems, died at North Manchester General Hospital, NHS England said.

He had recently returned from Italy and was being treated at the hospital’s specialist infectious diseases unit.

It comes after UK cases rose to 278 on Sunday, up from 209 on Saturday – the biggest rise yet.

Prof Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England, said: “I am very sorry to report that a third patient in England who tested positive for Covid-19 (the illness caused by coronavirus) has sadly died.

“I offer my sincere condolences to their family and friends and ask that their privacy is respected.”

He said that contact tracing – the process of finding people who may have come into contact with someone who is infected – was already under way.

A spokesman for North Manchester General Hospital said the man had “a number of underlying health problems”.

“Our thoughts are with the patient’s family who are being supported by our specialist bereavement staff,” he added.

As of Sunday morning, 23,513 people had been tested across the UK, with 273 cases.

On Sunday evening, five more cases in Northern Ireland were announced, bringing the total in the country to 12 and 278 in the UK.

Two more people in Wales have tested positive for the coronavirus, taking the total number in Wales to four.

The announcement of the death in Manchester follows confirmation on Friday that an 83-year-old great-grandfather had become the second person to die in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus.

The man, who also had underlying health conditions, died on Thursday while being treated at Milton Keynes University Hospital.

His family paid tribute to him as a “truly loving and wonderful person”.

On Thursday evening, another patient, a woman understood to be in her 70s, became the first person in the UK to die after being diagnosed with the virus while at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.

Earlier, Chancellor Rishi Sunak pledged to give the NHS “whatever resources it needs” to cope with a coronavirus epidemic, ahead of Wednesday’s Budget.

Mr Sunak also said he was looking at temporary measures to support people who may be unable to go to work or businesses which may suffer as a result of the measures.

The government also outlined emergency legislation to tackle coronavirus, including measures to allow people to leave their jobs and volunteer to care for those affected.

It comes ahead of an expected move from the “containment” phase of the outbreak to a “delay” phase soon, in which the focus would be on trying to slow down its spread.

This phase could see the introduction of “social distancing” measures such as closing schools and urging people to work from home.

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In other developments on Sunday:

Globally, there are more than 107,000, with about 3,600 deaths.

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