The patient, aged in their 70s, with underlying health issues, died after being treated in isolation at Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital. The patient had caught the virus in the UK.
It came as the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Dudley, while two more cases confirmed in Wolverhampton.
It saw the number of confirmed cases in the region rise to four in total, with the first case in the city being confirmed on Sunday. Meanwhile, last night it was confirmed the total number of deaths in the UK was five with more than 300 confirmed cases.
Health officials confirmed that a patient was being treated at Russells Hall Hospital for Covid-19. A doctor’s surgery in Brierley Hill, close to Russells Hall, also closed to patients yesterday after a ‘possible contact case of coronavirus’.
Health officials have put measures in place at the Dudley-based hospital to prevent the virus spreading.
There have also been a total of four confirmed coronavirus cases in Staffordshire. A further case was revealed in Birmingham on Thursday. Another confirmed case was being treated at The Royal Stoke University Hospital for the infectious disease.
The UK still remains in the containment phase of the virus outbreak.
And Deborah Harkins, director of public health for Dudley, said: “I’d like to reassure people that the risk to the general public remains low and Dudley Council is working with NHS colleagues to do everything we can to stop the virus spreading and ensure the people of Dudley are protected.
“If you have not been contacted by Public Health England as a close contact of the confirmed case, you do not need to take any action at this time. Good hygiene is the best prevention and there are some simple steps to protect you and your family by washing your hands regularly and thoroughly and if you cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.”
Diane Wake, chief executive for The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Russells Hall, said: “Our priority is to keep our patients and staff safe and we are doing all we can to prevent the spread of this virus.
“We are working closely with our health partners to reassure everyone and to stress the importance of hand hygiene.
“As an NHS trust, we are well prepared and are following our robust infection, prevention and control procedures in conjunction with our partners.”
Sue Ibbotson, centre director, Public Health England West Midlands, added: “Public Health England is contacting people who had close contact with the latest confirmed cases of Covid-19, two of whom are residents of Wolverhampton.
“Close contacts will be given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after contact with the confirmed case. This tried and tested method will ensure we are able to minimise any risk to them and the wider public.”
High Oak Surgery, in Pensnett High Street, announced the closure on Facebook. A statement said: “We are investigating a possible case of contact with coronavirus, unfortunately we have been advised to close our surgery for face to face appointments due to a risk of spreading the virus.”
Meanwhile, today’s Cheltenham Festival was going ahead, but with hand sanitiser stations across the course.
Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre announced it was keeping an eye on the situation, while continuing to operate as normal. A spokesman said: “Productions and other events will continue to take place as scheduled. We are following NHS and government guidelines.”
The outbreak has prompted organisers of sporting events to assess whether they should continue.