Everyone tested in Britain for a deadly virus that has infected hundreds in China have been given the all-clear, a top doctor said yesterday after an emergency government meeting.
All 14 people who were tested for the coronavirus had visited Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak which has killed 26 people in China and spread to other parts of Asia and the US.
Four of the five patients tested in Scotland were Chinese nationals, officials said, without disclosing the nationality of the others.
Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, said attempts were being made to trace everyone who had arrived in Britain from Wuhan in the past two weeks.
“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” he told the BBC.
Representatives of the ministries of transport, home affairs, foreign affairs, education, health and devolved nations attended a special COBRA meeting yesterday, the government said.
“We all agree that the risk to the UK public remains low, but there may well be cases in the UK at some stage,” Whitty said.
“We have global experts monitoring the situation around the clock and have a strong track-record of managing new forms of infectious disease, “ Whitty said.
A new public health hub would be set up at Heathrow airport, he added.
Paul Cosford, emeritus medical director of Public Health England, said it was “highly likely that we will have cases in the UK.” On Thursday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the new coronavirus an emergency for China but stopped short of declaring it of international concern.
So far the virus has killed 26 people and infected more than 800.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday said the risk posed to the British public by the new coronavirus remains low.
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