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11 coronavirus cases now reported in East of England - but Public Health England says its Peterborough report was an error

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus has reached 163 in the UK with 11 now reported in the East of England, according to the latest figures from the Department of Health.

Covid-19 originated in Wuhan (30935396)
Covid-19 originated in Wuhan (30935396)

The figures come amid speculation that some of the cases in the East of England are being dealt with at Cambridge’s Addenbrooke’s Hospital but so far they or the Department of Health have not made any official comment.

Also today Public Health England (PHE) published data by upper tier local authority.

These figures show no cases in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough as of 9am on Thursday, March 5. This data is being reported one day in arrears to allow local public health and health colleagues to plan their services.

Public Health England issued an update on Friday after its regional breakdown suggested there had been cases of coronavirus in Peterborough, which was an error. In fact, someone with a Peterborough postcode has the virus but is not being treated in the city.

Its system is being updated to prevent a recurrence of the error.

A total of 20,338 people have been tested in the UK, of which 20,175 were confirmed negative and 163 were confirmed as positive. A patient from Berkshire was the first person in the UK to have died after testing positive for COVID-19, while a second patient - an 88-year-old grandfather - became the second. It is believed he died at Milton Keynes Hospital after being admitted for pneumonia.

If more cases are confirmed in the UK, it will be announced by the Chief Medical Officer.

The government has pledged to spend £46m into work on finding a vaccine and a rapid test for the disease.

This will include work on eight possible vaccines already in the development stage along with more research.

The cash will also help a Bedfordshire laboratory to work on a test that could provide results in as little as 20 minutes.

However, that could still be six months away.

Government scientific advisers have already said that a working vaccine is unlikely to be ready to deal with the curent outbreak.


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