An 84-year-old man has become the first prisoner in the UK to die from coronavirus, UK media reports suggest.

The man, one of the oldest prisoners in the UK system, died at HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire, The Sun reported.

He was a convicted sex offender serving his sentence in a prison set aside for men with similar convictions.

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He died three days ago and Covid-19 was only confirmed after he died.

A source told The Sun: "There are a number of shared cells.

"It's not clear if others, including inmates and prison officers, have been affected."

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Tensions have been rising in UK prisons, where applying social distancing is not always possible.

Earlier this week inmates at a Scottish prison rioted and took a prison officer hostage.

The inmates at Addiewell Prison in West Lothian took the officer hostage and stabbed him before police were called to quell the violence.

A source told the Daily Record: "A hardcore of prisoners at HMP Addiewell went on the rampage and smashed things up, leading to a lockdown."

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The Department of Corrections in New Zealand dealt with a coronavirus scare earlier this month, after a staff member fell ill after returning from an overseas trip.

Department of Corrections deputy national commissioner Andy Milne told the Herald at the time: "We are taking a proactive and deliberately cautious approach to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of prisoners, our staff, contractors and visitors, and the community.

"We have robust plans in place to mitigate the risk of any infectious illness from spreading in prison."

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website