Fourteen people tested for coronavirus in UK as China continues battle to stop spread of deadly disease

More than a dozen people in the UK have now been tested for the coronavirus after an outbreak of the deadly disease in China.

Fourteen people were tested for the virus, with five confirmed negative and nine still awaiting results, Public Health England (PHE) said on Thursday night.

It came as Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there is an “increased likelihood” of cases occurring.

Some 18 people have died of the virus and there has been more than 600 cases reported in the past three weeks, including several outside of China.

a woman standing next to a man in a suit and tie: A staff member checks the temperature of a guest entering the casino of the New Orient Landmark hotel in Macau (AFP via Getty Images)© Provided by Evening Standard A staff member checks the temperature of a guest entering the casino of the New Orient Landmark hotel in Macau (AFP via Getty Images)The Scottish Government had earlier confirmed that five people were being examined after presenting with symptoms of the illness.

And it is understood that another patient was being tested at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital.

PHE would not give a breakdown of where the people were tested and where the negative results were recorded.

While none of the UK cases has been confirmed as the virus so far, two of those being tested in Scotland had been diagnosed with influenza after travelling to Wuhan, China.

a man and a woman walking down the street: Medical staff carry a box as they walk at the Jinyintan hospital (REUTERS)© Provided by Evening Standard Medical staff carry a box as they walk at the Jinyintan hospital (REUTERS)They all travelled to Scotland from Wuhan, where the outbreak is thought to have originated, within the past two weeks.

Each were showing symptoms of respiratory trouble, a red flag for the virus.

Downing Street said four suspected cases in Scotland were believed to involve Chinese nationals.

It comes after infections expert Professor Jurgen Haas claimed there would likely be “many more cases” around the country.

Health Secretary Mr Hancock said the NHS is “ready to respond appropriately” to any cases that emerge in the UK.

In a statement to the Commons on Thursday, Mr Hancock said while “there is an increased likelihood that cases may arise in this country, we are well prepared and well equipped to deal with them”.

Also on Thursday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it is “too early” to declare an international public health emergency over the outbreak “given its restrictive and binary nature”.

Speaking at a press conference, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, said: “Make no mistake, this is though an emergency in China.

“But it has not yet become a global health emergency.

“It may yet become one.”

Matthew Hancock in a suit standing in front of a building: Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there is an © Provided by Evening Standard Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there is an

He said 584 cases have been reported to the WHO, including 17 deaths, with 575 of the overall cases and all the deaths reported in China.

Other cases have been reported in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, the US and Vietnam.

Dr Tedros said: “We know that most of those who have died had underlying health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes or cardiovascular disease, that weakened their immune systems.

“We know that there is human-to-human transmission in China, but for now it appears limited to family groups and health workers caring for infected patients.

“At this time, there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission outside China, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen

“There is still a lot we don’t know. We don’t know the source of this virus, we don’t understand how easily it spreads and we don’t fully understand its clinical features or severity.”

Peter Piot, professor of global health and director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said there were still “many missing pieces in the jigsaw puzzle”, adding: “Over the coming days and weeks we will know much more, but there cannot be any complacency as to the need for global action.

“The good news is that the data to date suggest that this virus may have a lower mortality than Sars, we have a diagnostic test and there is greater transparency than decades gone by.

“And that is essential because you cannot deal with a potential pandemic in one country alone.”

Prof Haas, head of infection medicine at the University of Edinburgh, said: “We have currently three cases of suspected Wuhan coronavirus in Edinburgh and as far as I understand one case in Glasgow.”

He said the cases emerged overnight, adding: “The situation will be pretty similar in pretty much all UK cities with a large number of Chinese students.

“It’s not too surprising. My suspicion is that there will probably be many more cases in many other cities in the UK.

“None of the cases I know of have been confirmed.”

He said there was only one laboratory testing for the virus, operated by Public Health England (PHE).

The professor said the cases had been flagged up through the PHE infection guidelines, as they travelled to Wuhan within the last 14 days and were showing signs of respiratory symptoms.

The Chinese government has effectively locked down Wuhan, cancelling planes and trains there and in the nearby city of Huanggang.

Source: Standard.co.uk

Facebook Comments

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

SuperWebTricks Loading...
  • :
  • :
error: Content is protected !!