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Coronavirus UK: Second victim, 88, initially tested negative

An 88-year-old man who died from the coronavirus after initially testing negative for the illness has been named. 

Darrell Blakeley, from Middleton in Greater Manchester, collapsed on the floor of his home on March 3. 

When the father-of-one was first tested for the virus at North Manchester General Hospital the result came back negative. 

However, after he had received treatment for sepsis for several days, doctors tested him for Covid-19 again.

Darrell Blakeley, 88, from Middleton in Greater Manchester, collapsed on the floor of his home on March 3

The result came back positive and he died on March 13 in an isolation unit. 

Before his collapse, he had spent time in a restaurant with people who had returned from a skiing holiday in Italy. But it is unclear whether he contracted the virus from them or from the hospital.

The UK’s death toll rocketed up to 36 today and the number of cases of those infected soared to 1,543. 

His daughter-in-law, Allie Crewe, said it was a ‘difficult and tragic death’ for the family.

In a statement on Facebook she wrote: ‘It was very difficult for us as he could not be treated for his underlying medical condition due to coronavirus restrictions. 

‘The hospital were really super and tried to support us as much as possible, their kindness helped a lot. 

‘Not being able to sit with him was very hard for us. He remained in quarantine in an air locked room. 

‘This has been quite a difficult and tragic death so send love and light.’  

Mr Blakeley attended St Michael’s Church in Middleton for 50 years. 

When the father-of-one was first tested for the virus at North Manchester General Hospital (pictured) the result came back negative

When the father-of-one was first tested for the virus at North Manchester General Hospital (pictured) the result came back negative

The church said in a statement: ‘Today, St Michael’s Church family in Middleton is deeply saddened at the death of Darrell Blakeley to the coronavirus. 

‘He had been poorly and away from church for several weeks. Unfortunately, he came into contact briefly at a restaurant with a skier who had returned from Italy. 

‘He became poorly with his underlying condition shortly afterwards and was admitted to North Manchester General Hospital on Tuesday March 3 with sepsis. 

‘Because of his contact with the returnee from Italy he was placed in quarantine but tested negative for the virus. 

‘On Tuesday March 10, still in isolation, he tested positive, became extremely poorly and died late last night (March 13)

‘Darrell was a faithful man at St Michael’s for over 50 years, he sang in the choir with a beautiful voice, described by so many as a gracious gentleman who is going to be sadly missed. RIP Darrell.

‘I cannot stress enough the need to self-isolate if you believe you are at risk of infecting anyone else. 

‘Please hold Darrell’s family in your prayers, they have had a traumatic time not being able to see Darrell and are hurting so much. 

‘Also pray for carers in our hospitals nursing those with the virus. Thank you NMGH.

‘At this time when we should not be physically wrapping our arms around each other let us ensure all those who self isolate are helped in any way they need – phone calls, shopping, etc. because where there is hope there is life. 

‘Let’s not panic but keep hold of hope by caring not sharing. There will be a meeting at St Michael’s Church on Wednesday March 18 at 7pm for all church leaders and community leaders to come together and help our community get through this without risk to themselves or risk to others.’ 

He had not attended church for a month due to underlying health conditions.  

His family have since asked the local community to carry out acts of kindness instead of sending condolence gifts and flowers. 

They said: ‘Thank you for all of the kindness shown here. 

‘Instead of flowers we will be asking to set up a Wall of Kindness. You will be asked to help others by offering to collect shopping, help with childcare, make sure we all make time to have a quick chat with someone lonely or struggling. 

‘On the wall we invite you all to post “random acts of kindness given and received.”‘ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk