A NEWBORN baby in England has tested positive for coronavirus — the world’s youngest victim.
The child’s mother had been rushed to a London hospital days earlier with suspected pneumonia.
Last night she and her tot were being treated at separate hospitals.
The mum was tested at North Middlesex Hospital but her positive result was known only after the birth.
The baby was tested within minutes of arrival.
Medics are trying to establish whether the tot was infected during birth, or contracted the virus in the womb.
The baby remains at the hospital while the mum has been moved to a specialist infections hospital.
A source said: “Staff in contact with both patients have been advised to self-isolate. Health officials are urgently trying to find out the circumstances behind their infections.”
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has advised that healthy babies should not be separated from infected mums and can be breastfed.
Health officials stress pregnant women and babies are at low risk of complications from the virus and most will have mild symptoms.
BATTLING THE BUG
Concern grew as the UK death toll rose to 11 with confirmed cases up 208 to 798, the biggest daily leap yet.
In the last 24 hours the UK has seen an enormous 35 per cent increase in cases of the deadly virus.
Today it was announced that football in England was put on hold and all mass gatherings are due to be cancelled.
Meanwhile cities and towns across Britain appeared deserted at times today as people worked from home and avoided shops and transport links over concerns about the virus.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said schools would not close yet despite almost 600 people catching the virus, with 20 positive cases in Northern Ireland.
The PM confirmed Britain would move to the “delay” phase to try and stem the spread.
He said: “At all stages we have been guided by the science and we will do the right things at the right time.
“We are not closing schools now, the scientific advice is that this could do more harm than good at this time.
“Of course we are keeping this under review and this may change as the disease spreads.
“Schools should only close if they are specifically advised to do so.”
However, Northern Ireland’s First Minister warned that coronavirus will close British schools eventually.
Ireland yesterday announced all schools there would close until the end of March to stop the infection taking hold.