First Welsh coronavirus patient is dad-of-two recently returned from family ski trip in northern Italy

A BUSINESSMAN was diagnosed with coronavirus after he took his family skiing in Italy, neighbours said last night.

The dad-of-two, believed to be in his 40s, was the 19th Brit to be diagnosed with the deadly disease after he returned from the north Italian ski resort of Passo del Tonale.

On Thursday night two ambulances arrived at the family home before rushing the man to a helicopter which had landed in the park opposite the family home, neighbours say.

He was flown to one of four NHS centres across England equipped to deal with the killer virus.

Since returning home to Swansea, South Wales, earlier this week the businessman is believed to have been out drinking and socialising with friends and family before he was diagnosed yesterday.

It is thought at least a dozen people are now receiving emergency advice from Public Health Wales and have been forced to self-isolate.

Family friends of the businessman told The Sun they had been advised to self-isolate after coming into contact with the dad.

Through the window the pal said: "We cannot open the front door, we're in quarantine."

Neighbours to the family watched in horror as the dad was rushed off to hospital and have since been getting medical advice on the phone.

One neighbour said: "A helicopter landed in the park outside and two ambulances arrived in the street outside his front door. I think the ambulance was there to transport him to the helicopter."

A family friend told The Sun: "I can't believe it, we are all very worried for them and it's worrying for us too.

"They're such a lovely family and have two teenage children and they went skiing for half term.

"Now we know he has been infected everybody is getting advice on what to do."

It is not known if any other family members have been diagnosed with the disease.

The Italian ski resort lies in the northern region of Lombardy, which has so far seen 14 deaths linked to coronavirus and doctors have diagnosed over 400 cases.

Another friend of the family said: "They are close friends of mine, I've offered to help in any way I can but they've declined."

Wales Chief Medical Officer, Dr Frank Atherton, said: "All appropriate measures to provide care for the individual and to reduce the risk of transmission to others are being taken.

"The patient is being carefully looked after by the NHS and is being interviewed by colleagues from NHS Wales so that all their contacts are identified, and their contacts are advised how to act."


The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK climbed to 19 on Friday.

Here is a timeline of patients who have tested positive for the virus in the UK.

– January 31

The first cases are reported in the UK when two members of the same family – a University of York student and a relative – test positive for the virus.

They had recently travelled to the UK from China and were staying at the Staycity apartment-hotel in York when they fell ill.

They are taken to Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary for treatment.

– February 6

A third person in the UK is diagnosed in Brighton and transferred to Guy's and St Thomas' in London.

It later emerges that the patient, businessman Steve Walsh, contracted the virus at a conference in Singapore.

On his way back to the UK, he stopped off for several days at a French ski chalet, where five Britons were subsequently infected with the virus.

– February 9

Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Chris Whitty says a fourth person has been diagnosed in the UK, who is believed to be a contact of Mr Walsh.

– February 10

Four more patients in England test positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to eight.

Those infected are all contacts of Mr Walsh and Public Health England (PHE) confirms two are healthcare workers.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) says the four newly diagnosed people had contracted the virus in France.

– February 13

A woman in London becomes the ninth person to test positive for the illness in the UK – the first confirmed case in the capital.

The patient, moved to a specialist NHS centre at Guy's and St Thomas' for treatment, contracted the virus in China, Prof Whitty says.

As with previously confirmed cases, officials work to identify people who had been in recent contact with the woman.

– February 23

Four Britons rescued from the Diamond Princess cruise ship test positive for the illness in the UK, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 13.

They were among a group of 30 Britons and two Irish citizens who arrived at a quarantine block at Arrowe Park Hospital in Merseyside a day earlier.

Prof Whitty said the virus was passed on when all four were on board the vessel.

– February 27

The first case of Covid-19 is diagnosed in Northern Ireland, while two more people tested positive across the rest of the UK – bringing the total number to 16.

The patient in Belfast had recently returned from northern Italy and had previously been in Dublin.

Another of the new cases, a parent at a Buxton primary school in Derbyshire, contracted the virus in Tenerife.

The third patient also contracted the virus in Italy, the worst affected country in Europe.

– February 28

The number of confirmed UK cases jumps to 19 after Wales reports its first patient and two more were identified in England.

Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr Frank Atherton confirmed a man had been diagnosed with the virus after travelling back to Wales from Italy.

Tho two new cases identified in England had recently travelled back from Iran, Prof Whitty said.

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