Health

Coronavirus: Two more people test positive as eight schools close across the UK

Two more people have tested positive for coronavirus in England. The two patients have been transferred to specialist NHS infection centres after contracting the virus in Italy and Tenerife, according to England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty.

The new cases bring the total number of people diagnosed with Covid-19 in the UK to 15.

Authorities in Italy have reported that the number of people infected in the country grew to 447 and 12 people have died, while Denmark reported its first case.

Prof Whitty said: "Two further patients in England have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of UK cases to 15.

"The virus was passed on in Italy and Tenerife and the patients have been transferred to specialist NHS infection centres in Royal Liverpool Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital, London."

One of the cases is understood to be a parent from Burbage Primary School in Buxton, Derbyshire, who caught the virus while in Tenerife.

Some 168 Britons in Tenerife are currently confined to the H10 Costa Adeje Palace in the south west of the island, after at least four guests were diagnosed with coronavirus.

Parents were told Burbage Primary would be closed on Thursday due to a "confirmed case of coronavirus amongst our parent population".

The school, which has 350 pupils, sent a message to parents via WhatsApp on Wednesday night saying the decision had been taken as a "precautionary measure and to enable a deep clean to be completed".

Buxton Medical Practice in Derbyshire, a two-minute drive from the school, urged patients not to attend on Thursday due to a confirmed case of coronavirus.

In a message to patients, a spokesman said: "We have a confirmed case of the coronavirus.

"We are liaising with Public Health England and the Clinical Commissioning Group to ensure all appropriate actions are taken.

"Please do not come to the practice."

The IVF postcode lottery denying couples the chance to become parents

Thousands of women as young as 35 are being denied IVF treatment on the NHS - because of the area they live in.

Despite official recommendations that women should be eligible for IVF up to the age of 42 - one-in-nine Clinical Commissioning Groups in England are imposing their own restrictions on fertility treatment.

And, it's having a devastating effect on couples all around the country - including Steph and Tom, who join us alongside fertility expert, Dr Larisa Corda.

Should we stop hugging and kissing to halt coronavirus spread?

As more suspected coronavirus cases reach the UK, John Oxford, professor at Queen Mary University, has warned against close contact - even advising couples to refrain from kissing on Valentine's Day due to fears of the illness spreading.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Professor Oxford said people could protect themselves from contracting the virus by avoiding handshakes, hugs, and kisses.

“It’s a social virus,” Oxford said. "What we need to do is less of the handshaking, hugging, kissing, that sort of thing, because this virus looks like its spread by ordinary tidal breathing, not necessarily colds and coughing.”

Ahead of half term we’re joined by virologist Dr Simon Clarke and Simon Calder to talk about the physical spread of the disease and what to do if you’re worried about travelling.