Coronavirus is believed to have claimed its 12th victim in the UK after an 88-year-old grandfather died in hospital last night.
The man passed away at North Manchester General Hospital, his family told the Manchester Evening News.
COVID-19 continues to causes a crisis across the globe – with deaths in Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
The eleventh fatality in the UK was confirmed in Scotland on March 13 – the same day the number of cases across the country soared.
There are now just shy of 800 cases confirmed in the UK, with deaths in Berkshire, Birmingham, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, the Black Country and beyond.
Now, the M.E.N. reports he was placed into isolation at North Manchester General Hospital when it was discovered he had recently been to a party with people who travelled to Italy for a ski trip.
The family of the pensioner described the experience as “torture” and said they were devastated they couldn’t be with him to say goodbye.
His 54-year-old son said he had to wear protective gear, including gloves and a mask, to visit him and was only given 15 minutes with earlier this week.
The rest of the time the family remained in a relatives room where they can remain in contact using a dedicated phoneline.
The son told the M.E.N: “He had been to a party with a number of people who had been to Italy on a ski trip.
“They started testing positive for coronavirus. Half of the party tested positive, including people they have come into contact with.
“He tested negative when he first went in. We thought he was getting better, but then he tested positive.
“They quarantined him, swabbing him every day to test him. It was negative at first, but then suddenly he tested positive.
“The hospital said because it was so new nobody knows about the resilience to it. “
He said: “The difficulty is as soon as coronavirus is suspected you can’t be treated as a normal patient in hospital.
“You can’t go for scans, you can’t leave the room, you can’t have bloods tested.
“He is at North Manchester General, they could not have been more helpful. They have been faultless.”
The son added: “To say goodbye to him I had to wear professional protective equipment, two pairs of gloves, a face mask.
“After 15 minutes I was struggling to breath properly in it. Tears were streaming down my face.
“The hospital don’t like anyone to stay longer than 15 minutes. It took longer to remove the equipment than being with my dad.
“It sounds awful, seeing him was the most terrifying thing I have ever done.
“The hospital was so serious about how dangerous this is. Putting all of the kit on was completely scary.”