Two people in the UK have tested positive for the coronavirus, and are members of the same family.
According to England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, two people in England have tested positive for coronavirus.
In a statement, Professor Whitty, said: “We can confirm that two patients in England, who are members of the same family, have tested positive for coronavirus. The patients are receiving specialist NHS care, and we are using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus.
“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.”
The Department of Health is refusing to say where in England the patients are, but it is understood that they are from the Wirral area, where a special facility has been set up to quarantine Britons evacuated from Wuhan, China.
The confirmation that the virus has officially hit the UK is bound to cause concern but it has long been expected. So far, the virus has already spread to 18 other countries outside China.
At least 213 people have died from the virus – most in the Hubei province – and there are 10,000 cases nationally.
Today, 80 people will land in the UK from Wuhan at approximately 1 pm, which is the central Chinese city that is considered to be the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.
It was confirmed yesterday by the World Health Organisation that the coronavirus had officially been declared a global health emergency.
Following this announcement, British medical officers updated the risk level to the UK from low to moderate.
— Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) January 31, 2020