British man died in JANUARY from coronavirus: Grandfather, 84, who had NEVER left UK is the earliest known fatality outside China, new post mortem reveals to his shocked family
- An 84-year-old man died at the end of January from Covid-19, it was claimed
- Peter Attwood’s death has been partly attributed to Covid-19 by a coroner
- Mr Attwood’s daughter Jane Buckland, 46, said her father , from Chatham, Kent, was admitted to hospital on January 7 with a bad cough
An 84-year-old man died at the end of January from Covid-19 – making him the UK’s first coronavirus victim, it was reported last night.
Peter Attwood, whose death a coroner has partly attributed to Covid-19, died on January 30 – more than a month before what was previously thought to be the country’s first virus death on March 2.
Post-mortem tests on Mr Attwood detected coronavirus in his lung tissue, leading the Kent coroner to record his cause of death as ‘Covid-19 infection and bronchopneumonia’.
Mr Attwood’s daughter Jane Buckland, 46, told the Sun her dad, from Chatham, Kent, was admitted to hospital on January 7 with a bad cough.
The Department of Health announced the significant hike in deaths but said it did not include Northern Ireland which is yet to report its figures
Last Thursday she received an email from Kent coroner Bina Patel saying coronavirus had been found in his lung tissue during the post mortem.
She said: ‘The doctors did every test under the sun but couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him.
‘His blood tests showed a high level of infection but they had no idea what it was.
‘He died on January 30 and the provisional death certificate said it was heart failure and pneumonia.
‘The virus was obviously running rampant in this country back in December or maybe even earlier.
‘China was covering it up from the beginning.
‘It’s no wonder so many people in this country ended up dying from it. How many lives could have been saved if we’d known what was really going on?
‘My dad was elderly and had an underlying heart condition, so he would have been shielding.’
University of East Anglia Professor of Medicine Paul Hunter said of Peter’s case: ‘This is a remarkable development because it shows there was some virus transmission in the UK before anyone realised.’
A Government spokesman said: ‘Every death is a tragedy. There is no evidence that there was sustained transmission within the community in January 2020.
‘We acted swiftly to curb coronavirus and at all times we have been guided by the best available evidence to deliver a strategy designed to protect the NHS and save lives.’