Two cases of coronavirus confirmed in Barnsley as health chiefs urge calm

Two cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Barnsley as health chiefs urge people not to panic.
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Barnsley Council has confirmed there are two cases of COVID-19 in the town. The cases are unrelated and were contracted outside the borough.

Julia Burrows, Director of Public Health, Barnsley Council, said: “We were expecting we would see cases of COVID-19 in Barnsley at some stage, and we can confirm we have two cases in Barnsley.

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“The two cases are unrelated and contracted the virus outside of the borough.

Two cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Barnsley.Two cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Barnsley.
Two cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Barnsley.

“We send our best wishes to the individuals and their families as they continue their recovery.

“I want to reassure residents that Public Health England have contacted anyone who has been in close contact with these cases, and we’re working closely with health partners to manage the situation.

“At this stage, the risk of transmission is low, and I do want to emphasise to our residents that people should continue to go about their daily lives as normal. The small number of confirmed cases in the borough suggests that we’re still in a period of containment and we’re not yet seeing evidence of it spreading in the community.

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“We know it’s a rapidly evolving situation, so I do want to prepare residents for the possibility that we will see an increasing number of cases in Barnsley in the coming weeks or months. On this basis, we do not intend to announce new cases and we would encourage people not to speculate about individuals.

“We’ve been reviewing all of our council business continuity plans to make sure we are in the best possible position to respond.”

The number of coronavirus cases in the UK has now reached 163, the government has confirmed.

It is a jump of 48 cases since Thursday - the biggest increase in one day. More than 20,000 people have been tested.

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The UK's first death linked to the virus came on Thursday, after a woman with underlying health conditions in her 70s died in hospital in Reading.

As well as her death in the UK, a British man also died from the virus last month after being infected on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off the coast of Japan.