January 27, 2020
52 people have been tested in the UK so far – all have been negativeDeath toll worldwide reaches 81Around 2,800 confirmed cases worldwideThe UK government is considering an emergency airlift to evacuate Britons trapped in China’s Hubei province, the area at the centre of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
Coronavirus Latest: Hundreds Of Brits Trapped In Province At Epicentre Of Outbreak
It has been on lockdown for several days as China seeks to contain the illness and officials in Beijing have yet to grant anyone permission to leave.
The Foreign Office updated its guidance to “advise against all travel to Hubei province”, but added: “If you are in this area and able to leave, you should do so. This is due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak.”
One British man, who had travelled to Wuhan to visit his girlfriend, is stuck in the city after his return flight on February 3 was cancelled. He described trying to get out of the area as “impossible”.
The 29-year-old, who did not want to be named, told the PA news agency: “There is no news on when the airport will reopen therefore the airline (China Southern) have just cancelled the flight.
“I’ve also had no help from the UK Embassy in Beijing who are conveniently closed for the weekend.”Home secretary Priti Patel said the government was “looking at all options” to help Britons leave Wuhan following reports that officials have been asked to examine the logistics for an airlift from the city.
More than 50 people have now been tested for coronavirus in the UK, according to the Department of Health (DoH), although all tests have returned negative.
As of Sunday afternoon, some 52 people across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have been tested for the deadly flu-like virus, PA Media reports.
The current risk to the public remains low, the department said, adding that the government is continuing to monitor the situation closely.Related... Coronavirus: 8 Photos Showing What It's Like Inside China's Quarantined City Wuhan England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said there was a “fair chance” cases would emerge in Britain as the overall number reported around the world climbed to about 2,744 including 81 deaths, which have all occurred in China.
Neil Ferguson of Imperial College told The Guardian his “best guess” was that 100,000 people had been infected with the flu-like virus.
People from all over the world are trapped in the area, including 100 Australian children and around 250 Indians. Images from Wuhan showing hospital corridors packed with people seeking treatment have circulated on social media, along with complaints of soaring prices for essentials such as vegetables, Reuters reports.Meanwhile, health officials are continuing to track down around 2,000 people who have recently flown into the UK from Wuhan, the area of China worst affected by the outbreak.
The DoH confirmed it is trying to find “as many passengers as we can” who arrived from the region in the past two weeks to check on their wellbeing.
It is understood Border Force officers have been recruited to help speed up the search for passengers as testing for the virus continues in the UK.
A public health hub has been set up in Heathrow, staffed by a rotating team of seven clinicians working in shifts to support patients on arrival.Related... Wuhan Evacuations Planned As Coronavirus Death Toll Rises President Says China Facing A 'Grave Situation' As Coronavirus Death Toll Increases
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