A sixth person has died after testing positive for coronavirus in Hertfordshire.
In a statement, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust confirmed the latest virus-related death in the UK.
“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,” it said.
The latest person in the UK to die after contracting the virus was a man in his early 80s who had “underlying health conditions”.
Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor tweeted: “I am very sorry to learn of a death related to coronavirus at Watford General Hospital today.
“My thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family.
“I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the wonderful medical staff at Watford General Hospital, who do such a remarkable job in all circumstances.
“I know that this gentleman had underlying health problems and want to reassure people that we are working closely with Public Health England to support the national effort to combat and contain the virus.
The UK’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty said the person had acquired the virus in the UK.
West Herts Hospitals have confirmed that a positive case of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has been identified on one of our inpatient wards at Watford General Hospital.
All of the patients who were on the same ward have been moved and a deep clean will be carried out in line with strict guidance from Public Health England, is being carried out.
An extensive ‘contact tracing’ exercise is now underway to trace anyone who might have had close (face to face) contact with the patient who tested positive for COVID-19.
Close contacts to the patient concerned will be given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after they had contact with the confirmed case. This tried and tested method will ensure to protect and minimise the wider spread to the public.
Based on current evidence, COVID-19 presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing.
NHS England has confirmed it will provide GP surgeries with personal protective equipment (PPE) to help them deal with the coronavirus outbreak, following complaints from ill-equipped doctors.
Chief Nurse Tracey Carter said: “To protect yourself, please be scrupulous with your hygiene and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth and use and then bin tissues if you cough or sneeze. Thorough hand washing will help to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
She added: “Patients with appointments or who need to attend for urgent or emergency care should still come to hospital.”
Hertfordshire has 13 cases, the highest in England.
The Government website is updating giving daily at 2pm, as well as updates from the Department Of Health tweeting the number of new infections also at 2pm.