Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty has announced that two cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in England
The patients, who are members from the same family, have tested positive for coronavirus and are currently receiving specialist NHS care in Newcastle with infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus.
In his statement, CMO Christ Whitty said: “The NHS is extremely well-prepared and used to managing infections and we are already working rapidly to identify any contacts the patients had, to prevent further spread.”
“We have been preparing for UK cases of novel coronavirus and we have robust infection control measures in place to respond immediately.
“We are continuing to work closely with the World Health Organization and the international community as the outbreak in China develops to ensure we are ready for all eventualities.”
Risk level: From low to moderate
A recent statement from the four UK Chief Medical Officers on Novel Coronavirus has encouraged the government to increase the UK risk level from low to moderate in order prepare and plan in case of a more widespread outbreak.
UK nationals in China
Following this, The British Ambassador to China, Dame Barbara Woodward has given an update to UK nationals who are currently in China.
In a video, she said: “I’m sending my heartfelt thoughts to you in Wuhan and Hubei.
“We have confirmation from the Chinese authorities that the flight for assisted departure will be due to take off at 7 am (0700hrs) on Friday 31 January from Wuhan Tianhe airport.
“To all those who are registered for the flight, please carefully follow the instructions we are providing. The safety and security of British nationals will always be our top priority.”
The flight is due to land at RAF Brize Norton at 13:30 GMT and all passengers will be taken to Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral and quarantined for at least two weeks.
World Health Organization (WHO)
The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has said:
“Stopping the spread of this virus both in China and globally is WHO’s highest priority.
“We appreciate the seriousness with which China is taking this outbreak, especially the commitment from top leadership, and the transparency they have demonstrated, including sharing data and genetic sequence of the virus.
“WHO is working closely with the government on measures to understand the virus and limit transmission. WHO will keep working side-by-side with China and all other countries to protect health and keep people safe.”
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