A CHILD at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool has tested positive for coronavirus.
The patient is one of at least three children in the UK to have become infected with the deadly bug.
Last week, a pupil at Churston Ferrers Grammar School in Torbay, Devon, was diagnosed after returning from holiday in northern Italy.
A pupil at Kingston Academy school in Surrey also tested positive after returning to the UK from a foreign trip.
Alder Hey has not released any more information about the child patient.
Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, has said children will not be as affected as adults by coronavirus and that closing schools would only have a ‘marginal effect’.
He said: “Children appear to be less affected. We don’t know whether that’s because they don’t get infected – I think that’s unlikely – or because they do get infected but don’t get symptoms.”
Elderly patients are the most vulnerable to the virus, with mortality rates of around nine per cent – one in every 11 people – recorded so far in people aged over 80.
In children and adults aged under 30 the mortality rate plummets to fewer than one in every 500 cases.
Yesterday, a 75-year-old British woman became the first patient to die in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus.
Health chiefs said the woman had been suffering underlying health conditions and was ‘in and out of hospital’ before passing away at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his “sympathies are very much with the victim and their family”.
UK OUTBREAK COULD LAST SIX MONTHS
The Department of Health yesterday announced the number of positive tests across the UK has risen to 116.
The figure has more than doubled in the last two days.
Eight people are believed to have caught the virus within the UK.
London is the worst-hit area with 25 cases, while 17 people in North-West England have been infected.
Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, said Britain will be hit by six months of coronavirus chaos and should expect more deaths.
He told Sky News: “We should expect more cases in the UK, this is the start of an outbreak, clearly.
“We have cases across Europe, across the world, this is a global epidemic and we would expect to see more cases in the UK.
“We’ve got a reasonable worst-case scenario… that involves 80 per cent of the population and we think the mortality rate is one per cent or lower. I expect it to be less than that.
“It takes about 12 weeks to reach the peak then maybe about 12 weeks to go away again.
“You expect about 90 per cent of cases in the nine weeks in the middle of that and 50 per cent of cases in the three weeks of the middle of that.”
Last night, Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged Brits to stop panic buying as supermarket shelves across the country have been emptied of items like toilet paper and hand sanitising gel by stockpilers.
He said: “The Government has supplies of the key things that are needed, and, within the food supply, we are absolutely confident that there won’t be a problem there.
“The very, very strong advice from the scientists, from the medics, is that people should not go buying more than they need.”