June 18, 2024

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UK’s first virus case traced

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UK patient zero? New details of first case emerge

Is this how it began in Britain? The first transmission of coronavirus inside the UK may have started more than a month earlier than thought. It has emerged that a family from East Sussex is believed to have been infected as early as mid-January after the father returned from a skiing holiday in Ischgl, Austria. The IT consultant passed on the infection to his wife and children – before it spread rapidly in the weeks up to the February half-term. Read what we know. As Global Health Security Editor Paul Nuki reports, the Tyrolean resort has been linked to outbreaks across Europe and is now under criminal investigation for an alleged cover-up. The Telegraph has obtained an exclusive video shot inside a bar famed for its raucous après-ski party scene.

Meanwhile, the Queen last night held her weekly audience with the Prime Minister by telephone as they adhered to Government social distancing rules. It followed news that the Prince of Wales had tested positive for coronavirus, but remained “in good health”. Camilla Tominey explains why, as a future king, Charles could take no chances. Matt uses the royal coronavirus diagnosis as inspiration for today’s cartoon. As we adjust to the new rules for daily life, read our ultimate lockdown Q&A. And search for confirmed UK cases by postcode.

PS: News you can trust is more important than ever. Stay informed with our liveblog, daily Global Health Bulletin, WhatsApp group, coronavirus podcast and an index page with all our articles. We have a special offer when you take out a new Telegraph subscription that allows you to access all our newspaper and online articles without leaving home. Sign up for a free one-month trial – then save 50pc on your first three months.

Mass virus testing shop kits a ‘gamechanger’

The Prime Minister has described testing kits that reveal whether people have already had coronavirus as a possible “gamechanger”. More than three million of the tests – which tell people if they have developed immunity – could be available via Amazon and Boots within weeks. As Health Editor Laura Donnelly reports, the prospect of widespread testing could mean that key public services and parts of the economy reopen within weeks. Meanwhile, the first app monitoring symptoms of people in Britain with suspected coronavirus suggests that 6.5m people in the UK – one in 10 – has had the infection. Science Editor Sarah Knapton explains how it could be a key weapon in fighting the virus.

Everybody say yeah: The return of Mr Motivator

The BBC has hired Mr Motivator for a new daily programme with Angela Rippon to help the nation keep fit. HealthCheck UK Live will broadcast on BBC One at 10am. Using his favourite catchphrases, Mr Motivator (real name Derrick Evans) announced his return with the message: “Everybody say yeah, let’s get happy and be wicked at home.” His signing follows the return of Diana Moran, the Green Goddess, to BBC Breakfast. For more home fitness tips while you are stuck indoors, click here.

At a glance: More coronavirus headlines

Comment and analysis

You Are Not Alone: Surviving coronavirus lockdown

  1. Sense of calm | My city garden has become my solace. Here’s what to do in yours
  2. Fast-tracked couples | ‘Now our two families have suddenly become one’
  3. Armchair arts | The story behind the classic cover of Elvis Presley’s debut album

Business and money briefing

Pay plan | One in three self-employed workers is in line to have the Government pay their wages. As Anna Mikhailova reports, Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce an emergency package for the self-employed today, after last week setting out 80 per cent wage subsidies for employees. Here is what we know so far about the help available.  

Gallery: Virus fightback in pictures

The city that never sleeps… falls silent | A woman walks across the normally busy Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. View our gallery of images of the worldwide Covid-19 fightback.

People were scarce throughout the city and the ferries were like ghost ships – Getty

Also in the news today

Mosque shootings | The man accused of carrying out last year’s mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques that claimed 51 lives pleaded guilty to all charges early today in a surprise change of mind. Brenton Tarrant, a self-avowed white supremacist, targeted Muslims who were observing Friday prayers in Christchurch in the worst mass shootings in New Zealand’s modern history. The ex-gym instructor’s plea change came as a relief to survivors and relatives of the victims.  

And finally…

Shocking tactic | A church has won permission to electrify its porch to scare off pigeons after they were deemed a safety risk to worshippers for leaving droppings all over the doorstep. Religious Affairs Editor Gabriella Swerling reports the problem at the Grade I-listed church of St Mary the Virgin in Bristol revolves around the birds’ “unsightly” excrement that is proving to be a slip hazard.

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