Migrants tested for coronavirus in UK after being found in ‘Italy’ container

A group of illegal migrants have undergone coronavirus checks in Grimsby after being smuggled into the UK in a shipping container believed to be from Italy.

The four were discovered at Killingholme docks in northern Lincolnshire on Saturday.

Humberside Police alerted social services as the migrants all looked young.

A spokesman for the Border Force said all four of the group found in the container claimed to be minors under the age of 17 years, reports Grimsby Live .

Social services staff took them to Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital at around 6.30pm on Saturday where they were tested for Covid-19.

Italian authorities have placed the country under a strict lockdown amid the deadly virus outbreak, and the UK has warned Brits against all but essential travel to the country.


  • Coronavirus: Brits flying to UK from Italy stunned not to be screened upon return

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The death toll in Italy has hit 463, as Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte described the outbreak as the country's 'darkest hour.'

Italy is now the worst-hit country after the China, and has taken extreme measures as it becomes a key epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe.

The alert came as the death toll in the UK from coronavirus rose to five.

The latest victims were two men in their 70s who had long-standing health issues.

As the deaths were confirmed, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson appealed for people not to panic buy or hoard goods.

The four migrants are believed to originally be from Africa.

They are now under the care of North Lincolnshire Council social services who are trying to establish the exact route the migrants took to reach the UK.

A Border Forces spokesman said: "In order for them to be age assessed, they were passed direct to social services. We did not attend the scene. Humberside Police passed the information on to us as a matter of routine."

He confirmed they had gone into the care of local social services, who arranged for their medical care. It is standard procedure for all illegal migrants to be medically checked.

The accident and emergency ward at the Grimsby hospital was busy with patients when social services officers escorted the young migrants to the ward for check-ups.

Asked about the migrants being tested, a  spokeswoman for Northern Lincolnshire and Google NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Grimsby hospital, declined to comment on any cases.

She said: "Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict guidelines.

"Specific guidance has been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual."

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