More than 50 tested for coronavirus in UK as China travel warning issued

Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire
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More than 50 people have now been tested for coronavirus in the UK, according to the Department of Health, although all tests have returned negative.

As of yesterday afternoon, some 52 people across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have been tested for the deadly flu-like virus.

Another person suspected of having coronavirus in Scotland has now been tested, the Scottish Government has said.

On Thursday, five patients were confirmed as being tested for the infection, but Scottish ministers announced they had been given the all-clear on Friday.

It was revealed on Saturday that an additional person had also tested negative for the virus.

Health Protection Scotland has urged travellers returning from Wuhan who become unwell within a fortnight from a sore throat, cough or breathing difficulties to call their GP or NHS 24.

The current risk to the public remains low, the department said, adding that the Government is continuing to monitor the situation closely.

Britons trapped in the Chinese province at the centre of the outbreak have been urged to leave the area if they are able to do so.

The Foreign Office updated its guidance to “advise against all travel to Hubei province”, which has been on lockdown for several days as China seeks to contain the illness.

But the guidance also added: “If you are in this area and able to leave, you should do so. This is due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak.”

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.

It comes as spectators celebrated Chinese New Year in central London, which mark the start of the Year of the Rat.

Authorities in China have cancelled a host of events marking New Year as they expand their lockdown against the virus.

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 Department of Health 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.