A NORTH-EAST hospital set up to deal and treat those diagnosed with coronavirus is currently treating one confirmed case, a passenger from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

The Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, which is one of the country's four high consequence infectious disease units (HCID), is dealing with the Convid-19 strain patient after being quarantined onboard in Japan. 

The Northern Echo:

For the past two weeks, 30 Britons and two Irish citizens have been kept onboard the coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess after one-fifth of its 3,711 passengers became infected with the disease.

Last night, the government confirmed four of the first people to be brought back to the UK, who had been quarantined in North West England, had now been moved to hospitals in Sheffield, Liverpool and Newcastle.

So far, 13 people in the UK have been diagnosed with Convid-19 - eight however have been discharged from hospital.

The Northern Echo: The RVI in Newcastle Picture: NORTH NEWS AND PICTURESThe RVI in Newcastle Picture: NORTH NEWS AND PICTURES

Last month, it was confirmed that two of the UK's first coronavirus cases were being treated at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. 

The patients, believed to have travelled from China and into the UK, had been in York city centre when they became ill.

Once diagnosed with the disease, they were kept at the hospital's HCID for almost three weeks before they were released last week. 

On Monday, Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Office of England confirmed the virus had been passed on whilst on the cruise ship.

'Centres are well prepared to deal with cases'

Professor Keith Willett, NHS strategic incident director for coronavirus, said the specialist centres are "well prepared to deal with cases" as he called for a calm approach in the face of any further potential cases.

The number of coronavirus fatalities from the Diamond Princess rose to three on Sunday, after Japanese authorities confirmed a local man aged in his eighties had died in hospital.