The UK Department of Health and Social Care confirmed the first two cases of coronavirus infection in England.
The two patients are members of the same family and have been placed under specialist care by the UK National Health Service (NHS) at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle.
This announcement follows the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) declaration of the coronavirus outbreak as a global public health emergency.
UK Chief Medical Officers, yesterday, raised the risk to the public from low to moderate, following the confirmation.
The UK has also arranged for the evacuation of British citizens staying in Wuhan in a special flight along with EU citizens, reported the BBC. Evacuees will be taken to the Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral upon arrival at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire and quarantined for 14 days for medical observation.
London was 19th among the 30 global cities receiving airline travellers from 18 high-risk Chinese cities for coronavirus, according to WorldPop data by the University of Southampton.
Advanced monitoring has been introduced at airports handling direct flights from China. A team of public health experts have been deployed at the Heathrow airport to screen unwell passengers travelling in from China.
Medical staff have been permanently placed at all UK airports, along with displaying guidelines for passengers travelling to and from China.
A total of 1,466 passengers and 95 staff arrived on direct flights to the UK from Wuhan between 10 January and 24 January. While 162 of the passengers have left the country, 760 are outside of the incubation period. Public Health England is currently working on contacting the remaining passengers.
With the addition of the UK, the coronavirus has reached 23 countries, while suspected cases are also on the rise. A total of 9,776 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection have been reported across the world including 213 deaths, as of 30 January.