Number of confirmed coronavirus cases in UK continues to rise

The Department of Health has confirmed there have been almost 70 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK in the space of one day.

Its daily update on confirmed cases of the virus, also known as COVID-19, said the number had increased to 273 as of 9am on March 8. The figure stood at 206 at the same time on March 7.

It comes as a third person in Leeds had tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total of confirmed cases in Yorkshire up to 10. A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said due to the volume of coronavirus patients it can no longer comment on individual cases.

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The Health Secretary has praised a group of people released from quarantine after returning from a coronavirus-hit cruise ship for setting a "good example" to the public.

Red Cross personnel prepare for the transport of a Coronavirus patient during a simulation, in Rome. Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

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Third patient in Leeds tests positive for coronavirus

A group of 30 Britons and two Irish nationals were released from isolation at Arrowe Park Hospital in the Wirral on Sunday having been given the all-clear from infection.

They were repatriated from Japan last month having been passengers on the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Around 700 people caught the illness while the ship was held in quarantine for several weeks - more than a quarter of the 2,600 people on board.

Thanking Arrowe Park's staff and the quarantined group, Mr Hancock said: "Tackling coronavirus is a national effort and they have set a good example for the rest of the public as more people may need to self-isolate themselves at home.

"Public safety is our top priority and we all have a part to play in containing the spread of the virus."