Faces of the UK’s coronavirus victims as death toll hits 104

The new strain of coronavirus has killed more than 70 people in Britain – and there are fears thousands could die during the pandemic.

The elderly and people with underlying health problems, including conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and cancer, are most at risk.

As of March 18th, 104 people in the UK have died from the virus.

In the UK, many of those who have died after contracting Covid-19 were over the age of 50 and/or suffering from pre-existing conditions.

But it can affect younger people.

The youngest person to die was a 45-year-old dad-of-two who had motor neurone disease, an NHS doctor has said a colleague was taking care of several patients under 40 who were all on ventilators and at least three babies, including a newborn, have tested positive.

Have you been affected by the coronavirus outbreak? Email [email protected].

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While many victims' identities remain unknown, some have been named and pictured by devastated families who have paid touching tributes and described how they were unable to say a proper goodbye.

Families have been unable to arrange funerals because they have been forced to self-isolate for two weeks.

Darrell Blakeley, 88

Darrell Blakeley, 88, died in isolation at North Manchester Hospital on March 13 after he was found collapsed on his floor at home in Middleton.

The pensioner was admitted for sepsis on March 3 and later tested positive for coronavirus.

His family said he contracted the bug at a restaurant after coming into contact with a skier returning from northern Italy.

Mr Blakeley's devastated son, Jonathan, said he could not be with his father when he died due to strict rules at the hospital.

Jonathan Blakeley told ITV News: "My father had looked after me all my life, he's always been there for me, in his direst hour I couldn't be there for him.

"The hospital were fantastic but I wasn't allowed to visit him."

The family has asked Britons to carry out acts of kindness in Mr Blakeley's memory.

Kimberley Finlayson, 52

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

The most common symptoms of the coronavirus are:

  • a dry, persistent cough
  • a fever

If you experience these symptoms, you should immediately self-isolate yourself for seven days.

It is not necessary to call NHS 111 unless your symptoms get more severe.

Some patients have reported fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath and aches and pains. Sneezing is not a symptom of the coronavirus.

Mum-of-four Kimberley Finlayson and her husband, Ken, were on holiday in Bali when she fell severely ill.

She was treated at a private hospital for a fever on March 3 and was later transferred to the Sanglah hospital, where she died in the early hours of March 11, according to local news reports.

Indonesian officials said Mrs Finlayson contracted coronavirus outside the country.

They said she had pre-existing conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, hyperthyroidism and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The mum was an award-winning co-founder of FMC, a dentistry publishing and communications company based in Shenley, Hertfordshire.

Her husband Ken tested negative for Covid-19 and was quarantined as a precaution at Sanglah hospital.

Nick Matthews, 59

How to self-isolate

For those concerned they have coronavirus in the UK, Public Health England has issued advice about how to self-isolate.

1. Stay at home: Don't leave your house except when you need to seek medical care. Ask for help buying groceries or have them delivered.

2. Stat away from your housemates: Stick in a well-ventilated room away from others, with the door closed. Use a separate bathroom and wear a facemask when it shared areas.

3. Call ahead before visiting the doctors so they can take extra precautionary measures.

4. Cover you coughs and sneezes: Make sure to cover your nose and mouth and to throw away disposable tissues in a plastic waste bag.

5. Wash your hands regularly: This should be done often and thoroughly with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, rinse and dry thoroughly.

6. Avoid sharing household items: You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with other people in your home when you have used them. After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water.

7. Do not have visitors in your home.

8. Keep away from your pets if possible.

9. Keep your clothes clean: Do laundry on the highest temperature possible and clean all surfaces around the washing machine.

10. Monitor your symptoms: Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening, for example, if you have difficulty breathing, or if the person you are caring for symptoms are worsening.

Dad Nick Matthews, 59, was rushed to hospital after suffering breathing difficulties on March 12.

The former police officer, from Nailsea, North Somerset, died in the Bristol Royal Infirmary on March 14.

His devastated wife Mary, 55, wrote in a Facebook post: “Today at 3am I lost my life partner and soul mate but most of all my best friend."

She added: "At no point did I realise how serious it was, even when we all had to gown up in the hospital, I just thought it was overcaution – as far as we were concerned we hadn’t been in contact with anyone with coronavirus and no-one in this area had contracted the disease."

Mr Matthews was disabled and unable to work, having previously suffered a heart attack.

He had recently returned from Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands, where he had been celebrating his birthday.

Craig Ruston, 54

Dad-of-two Craig Ruston, 54, died on the morning of March 16 after his chest infection was diagnosed as Covid-19.

Mr Ruston, from Kettering in Northamptonshire, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in June 2018.

A Facebook post signed by his devastated wife Sally and his "amazing girls" stated: "My Amazing Craig passed away yesterday morning at 6.20am.

"We are truly heartbroken. His fight with MND was not ready to be over.

"At diagnosis in June 2018 he was given roughly two years to live. He was pushing that back.

"Craig was not ready to go."

Mr Ruston fell ill on March 10 and died after spending six days in isolation.

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