Spanish football coach dies from coronavirus aged just 21

A 21-year-old Spanish football coach has died of coronavirus after doctors also diagnosed him with leukaemia.

Francisco Garcia, who managed the junior team of Malaga-based club Atletico Portada Alta, was rushed to hospital with severe symptoms of the virus.

But when he arrived doctors also identified the deadly blood cancer. They said he would have survived if he was not suffering from the pre-existing condition.

Spain declared a state of emergency last week as it ramped up efforts to stop the disease spreading. It is the second worst hit European country, having reported more than 8,000 cases and as many as 297 deaths.
Mr Garcia is believed to be the youngest victim of coronavirus, and the fifth person in the Malaga region to die from the disease.

Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported the death, stating that his leukaemia was not detected until he was taken to hospital with coronavirus symptoms.

‘He went to the clinical hospital thinking that he had a bad cold,’ a source told the newspaper, ‘but they ended up detecting pneumonia’.
The doctors did tests and more tests and, in addition to confirming that he had a coronavirus, it was learned that he had leukaemia.

‘He fought for a few days and finally died this Sunday.’

Mr Garcia’s club paid tribute to him yesterday, saying: ‘From Atletico Portada Alta we want to express our deepest condolences to the family, friends and relatives of our coach Francisco Garcia who has left us, unfortunately, today.

‘What do we do without you now, Francis? Yes you were always with us or wherever needed, helping.

‘How are we going to keep conquering miles in the league? We don’t know how, but we’ll do it, for you. We will never forget you, rest in peace phenomenon, see you soon.’

The youngest person to die in Britain is believed to be 59-year-old retired police officer Nick Matthews.

The victim, from Nailsea, Somerset, reportedly died at Bristol Royal Infirmary in the early hours of Saturday.

He had been taken into hospital with breathing difficulties on Thursday.

The couple had recently returned from a holiday in Fuerteventura, the Canary islands, flying out on February 22 and returning on February 29.
Spain has entered a state of emergency as the country grapples to control the coronavirus outbreak.

Citizens have been instructed to remain in their homes, and are only allowed to venture out to get food, medical supplies, or go to work.

The Junta de Andalucia, which is the regional authority, has said that 180 people in the Malaga region – where Mr Garcia lived – have been infected by the virus.

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