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COVID-19 - Coronavirus: UK to remain in 'containment' phase of response

Coronavirus: UK to remain in 'containment' phase of response

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The UK will remain in the "containment" stage of its response to the coronavirus following an emergency Cobra meeting.

It comes as the country's chief medical adviser confirmed a fourth person had died from the virus in the UK.

There were 319 confirmed cases in the UK as of 09:00 GMT on Monday, a rise of 46 since the same time on Sunday.

However, measures to delay the virus' spread with "social distancing" will not be introduced yet, ministers said.

Number 10 said it accepted that the virus "is going to spread in a significant way", however.

The latest person to die from the virus was in their 70s and had underlying health conditions, according to the UK government's chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty.

He said the patient, who was being treated at a hospital in Wolverhampton, appeared to have contracted the virus in the UK and that officials were tracing people they had been in contact with.

Following the Cobra meeting, Downing Street said the prime minister "will be guided by the best scientific advice" but there was no need to cancel sporting events at this stage.

Ministers have also been meeting with sports bodies to discuss their response to the outbreak, which could include staging matches behind closed doors.

It comes as Ireland's Six Nations rugby match in France on Saturday has been postponed, following an earlier decision to postpone England's match in Italy. However, Wales's game against Scotland in Cardiff is to go ahead as scheduled.

Another two cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus were confirmed in Wales and another five in Scotland on Monday.

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