THREE people who tested positive for coronavirus have died at hospitals in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area in the past few days – becoming the first recorded fatalities for people with the virus across the conurbation.

A statement released by health chiefs said that one person died on Wednesday, March 25, while under the care of The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals, while a further two people died at Poole General Hospital the following day.

No more details were released about those who had died.

The statement said: "As confirmed by NHS national announcements, a patient, who tested positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19), sadly passed away at the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals on March 25, 2020. Two patients sadly passed away at Poole Hospital on March 26, 2020."

A spokesperson for Poole Hospital and The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals said: “Our thoughts and condolences remain with the patients’ families and loved ones.

"Out of respect for their privacy we will not be commenting further.”