Sixth person dies from coronavirus in UK as infected cases rise to 373

A sixth person has died from the coronavirus in the UK, NHS England has confirmed this afternoon.

The man, aged in his early 80s – who tested positive for COVID-19 – died at Watford General Hospital.

He had underlying health conditions – as did the other five patients who have died from the disease in the UK.

The department of health has also confirmed this afternoon that the number of coronavirus cases have increased from 319 to 373.

A statement from West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: "Sadly, we can confirm that a man who was being cared for at Watford General Hospital, and had tested positive for Covid-19, has died.

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"The patient, who died in the evening of Monday March 9, was in his early 80s and had underlying health conditions.

"His family has been informed and our thoughts and condolences are with them at this difficult and distressing time."

It comes after an expert revealed Britain could be on the verge of an Italy-style lockdown with 319 cases currently recorded.

Italy has currently shut its schools, closed its sporting venues and churches, and ordered people to stay indoors unless strictly necessary.

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It is now the epicentre of the outbreak in Europe, with nearly 600 deaths and 10,000 cases.

British Airways and Ryanair have cancelled all flights to and from Italy, with other major airlines also axing flights.

Professor Francois Balloux, of the University College London Genetics Institute, said: “The trajectory in the UK is so far roughly comparable to the one in northern Italy, but with the epidemic (there) two to three weeks ahead of the situation (here).

“It is possible that a lockdown strategy similar to the one imposed in northern Italy may be adopted by the UK. The Covid-19 epidemic cannot be contained anymore.”

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The other five deaths in the UK included a woman in her 70s who died yesterday after being treated for COVID-19 at St Helier Hospital, in Sutton, Greater London.

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