A sign warning of the coronavirus is seen pinned inside a window at Milton Keynes University Hospital, where a man who tested positive for coronavirus and had underlying health conditions, died on March 5 in Milton Keynes, north of London (Photo by NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United Kingdom rose by 30 per cent to 273, the government said on Sunday, and a third person who tested positive for the virus has died.

The Department of Health and Social Care said the number of cases had risen by 64 from Saturday, the biggest one-day increase so far. The largest concentration of cases is in London, which has had 51.

England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said a third person had died in Britain after testing positive for the virus. The patient was over 60 years old, had “significant underlying health conditions” and had recently travelled from an affected area.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency committee on Monday.

“The number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in the UK and around the world,” Johnson said. “We are well prepared and will continue to make decisions to protect the public based on the latest scientific advice.”

The new coronavirus, which emerged in China in December, causes a disease called COVID-19. It has spread around the world, infecting more than 106,000 people and 3,600 people have died worldwide, according to a Reuters tally.

UK’s emergency scientific group agreed last week that the virus was likely to spread in a significant way and the government will decide on Monday whether to move to the so called “delay phase” of its plan.


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