British woman in virus-hit Tenerife hotel tests positive for coronavirus

A British woman who was staying at the Tenerife hotel hit by the coronavirus has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Health officials have confirmed that she had arrived at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace on 23 February, and was not part of the initial group of 10 Italians where the first case was identified.

Sky News understands that the British woman was not isolated inside the hotel because she never showed symptoms, and that the positive test came as a result of regular testing.

The exact number of Britons in the hotel is unknown but it is understood that around 160 are stuck there.
A walk through the Tenerife hotel in lockdown

Authorities are now trying to track down anyone who may have come into close contact with her.

The Foreign Office said: “We are supporting a British woman who has been admitted to hospital in Tenerife.

“Our staff are in close contact with her family and the Spanish medical staff treating her.”

Tourists with masks in the pool of H10 Costa Adeje Palace, which is on lockdown after cases of coronavirus have been detected there in Adeje, on the Spanish island of Tenerife, Spain, February 26, 2020. REUTERS/Borja Suarez
Image: Tourists with masks in the pool of H10 Costa Adeje Palace

Tourists with masks are seen near the pool of H10 Costa Adeje Palace, which is on lockdown after cases of coronavirus have been detected there in Adeje, on the Spanish island of Tenerife, Spain, February 26, 2020. REUTERS/Borja Suarez
Image: People have tried to enjoy the weather despite the lockdown

Seven people have now been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Tenerife.

More from Covid-19

Some British tourists who were staying at the quarantined hotel were allowed to leave on Monday after testing negative, and were due to fly back to the UK.

In light of the diagnosis, Public Health England has now said that those flying back will be asked to self-isolate at home for two weeks.

Jet2 had said it would not fly any customers who had stayed at the hotel back to the UK until tests confirmed that they were free of the coronavirus.

Travel firm Tui said it had flown back 17 of its customers from the hotel on Monday – some on a flight to Newcastle and the others heading to Bristol.

Another 19 Tui customers were due to be flown back to the UK on Tuesday.

There are now 51 confirmed cases in the UK.

Coronavirus: How worried should we be?
Coronavirus: How worried should we be?

In other worldwide developments:

  • Ireland has confirmed its second case – a woman who had recently travelled to northern Italy.
  • The number of cases in France has risen to 212 – and Argentina has confirmed its first case.
  • World Health Organisation (WHO) director general Tedros Adhanom says about 3.4% of reported cases have died, which is far fewer than seasonal flu.
  • Donald Trump says he is working with the US Congress to deliver an $ 8.5bn emergency funding bill to tackle coronavirus in the country.
  • The president also says he is considering banning travel to coronavirus hotspots after the Washington state department of health confirmed 27 cases and nine deaths – up from 18 and six on Monday
  • There are concerns the virus may disrupt voting in today’s Super Tuesday US presidential primaries, with the possibility that someone could spread false information about the disease to keep voters away.
  • Spain has had its first death and its health minister announced Valencia’s Champions League clash with Italian side Atlanta will be held without fans
  • The IMF and World Bank will hold their spring meetings online rather than in person because of the coronavirus.
  • But the IOC insists the Tokyo Olympics will go ahead as planned this summer.
Tourists wear protective masks in Venice after the city's carnival was cancelled due to COVID-19
Image: Tourists wear protective masks in Venice

Italy

The number of confirmed cases in Italy rose from 2,036 to 2,052 on Tuesday, and the death toll went up to 79.

It remains the biggest outbreak in Europe and the UK Foreign Office is advising against all but essential travel to badly affected northern areas.

Several towns across the Lombardy and Veneto regions remain in lockdown, but officials say it could be another two weeks before it is known whether this has helped to halt the spread of the disease.

The country’s national health institute has also said it is considering setting up a new quarantine “red zone” near the northern city of Bergamo because of a high number of positive cases there.

Tourists wearing a protective respiratory mask tour outside the Colosseo monument (Colisee, Coliseum) in downtown Rome on February 28, 2020 amid fear of Covid-19 epidemic. - Since February 23, more than 50,000 people have been confined to 10 towns in Lombardy and one in Veneto -- a drastic measure taken to halt the spread of the new coronavirus, which has infected some 400 people in Italy, mostly in the north. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)
Image: Tourists outside Rome’s coliseum

Italians have reportedly been told to stand at least a metre away from each other when in public spaces, based on a study of how far saliva droplets travel when people speak.

Italian newspaper Il Messaggero reported that Pope Francis, who had cancelled a Lent retreat for the first time in his papacy due to a cold, tested negative for the illness.

The Vatican said Francis only has a cold and is “without any symptoms related to other pathologies” – but did not say whether he had been tested for COVID-19.

Pope Francis, 83, had part of one lung removed due to an illness decades ago – and also cancelled most of his audiences last week.

Italy has suffered Europe's worst coronavirus outbreak so far
Image: Italy has suffered Europe’s worst coronavirus outbreak so far

Iran

WHO experts have finally arrived to help local health workers and Iranian authorities say they plan to mobilise 300,000 soldiers and volunteers to deal with the virus.

Dr Michael Ryan, the WHO’s executive director for its health emergencies programme, said Iranian doctors and nurses were lacking supplies of respirators and ventilators.

France, Germany and the UK have also promised testing supplies, protective body suits and gloves, and are also offering funds to help.

Iranian people wear protective masks to prevent contracting coronavirus, as they walk in the street in Tehran, Iran February 25, 2020
Image: Iranian people wear protective masks to prevent contracting coronavirus as they walk in the street in Tehran

Iran’s chief justice, Ebrahim Raisi, said some people were stockpiling medical supplies for profit, urging prosecutors to show “no mercy for hoarders” who were “playing with people’s lives”.

Iran’s deputy health minister Alireza Raisi said on Tuesday that 77 people have died from more than 2,300 confirmed cases of the disease.

According to Iranian politician Abdolreza Mesri, 23 members of the country’s parliament have been infected.

Authorities in Iran have been sanitising landmarks in Iran.
Image: Authorities in Iran have been sanitising landmarks in Iran

South Korea

Another 600 cases of coronavirus were confirmed in South Korea on Tuesday.

Seoul said more hospital beds and face masks were on order as the number of cases rose to 5,186, with 34 deaths.

Ambulances wait to transport infected patients from Daegu, South Korea
Image: Ambulances wait to transport infected patients from Daegu, South Korea

South Korean president Moon Jae-in said: “The entire country has entered war against the infectious disease as the crisis in Daegu and Gyeongbuk province has reached the highest point.”

He also apologised for the shortage of face masks, saying: “I am very sorry to the people that we are not able to supply masks swiftly and sufficiently, and have caused inconvenience.”

South Korea, one of Asia’s largest economies, has the highest number of COVID-19 cases outside China, where the virus originated.

South Korea has the most cases of the virus after China
Image: South Korea has the most cases of the virus after China

Japan

There remain concerns about whether the Tokyo Olympics will be able to go ahead this summer.

Other sports events in Japan have already been affected, including J-League football matches being postponed and the prestigious Spring Grand Sumo Tournament being held behind closed doors for the very first time.

Schools nationwide have been shut until April and popular tourist and visitor attractions such as Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan have also closed their doors for the next few weeks.

But the International Olympic Committee (IOC) remains confident that this summer’s spectacle will still happen, and is urging athletes to prepare “full steam”.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams told Sky News’ sports correspondent Martha Kelner: “All the advice we’re getting from all the competent authorities, most importantly the WHO, is that the games can and will go ahead.

“There’s not even an international travel ban and still not a pandemic announced.

“We are working, moving ahead, and expecting the games to begin on 24 July.”

The Olympics are due to take place between 24 July and 9 August.

There are concerns the 2020 Olympics could be cancelled
Image: There are concerns the 2020 Olympics could be cancelled

Virus Outbreak: Global Emergency – Watch a special Sky News programme on coronavirus at 6pm weekdays.

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