Coronavirus UK update: Officials say 73 people now tested for virus

A total of 73 people have now been tested for coronavirus in the UK and all tests have come back negative, the Department of Health and Social Care has said. ​

The number of people killed in China by the new coronavirus strain rose to 81 on Monday, with almost 3,000 confirmed ill.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted plans are being worked on to help UK citizens in Wuhan and assured “we are doing everything” to screen people arriving from affected regions.

Wuhan and several other cities in the Hubei province are on lockdown and have imposed travel bans.

There have so far been no deaths outside of China however, there are at least 44 confirmed cases abroad, including in Thailand, the United States and Australia.

“So far there is still no case of somebody with coronavirus here in the UK” (PA)

In an interview at the King’s College London Mathematics School after launching a post-Brexit visa plan, the PM was asked for detail on how frustrated citizens would be assisted.

“We are looking at everything we can to give reassurance to those people in Wuhan and you will be hearing a bit more in due course but I don’t want to pre-empt the decisions we are going to make,” he replied.

“Obviously, we are doing everything we can to ensure that people who do come to this country are properly screened and checked if they have come from an area that is known to have the infection.

“So far there is still no case of somebody with coronavirus here in the UK but clearly there are a lot of cases in China and it is spreading.”

A further person in Scotland has tested negative for coronavirus, taking the total to seven.

The Scottish Government posted the update on its website on Monday afternoon.

“There are currently no confirmed cases in the UK or of UK citizens abroad and the risk to the public is low.

“The Government is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to work with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and international community.”

Efforts are continuing to trace around 2,000 people who have entered the UK from China on international flights.

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 Foreign Office has confirmed it is working on making an “option available” for British nationals to leave Wuhan in the Hubei province in China.​

A spokesperson said: “We continue to monitor developments closely and are in close touch with the Chinese authorities.

“The safety and security of British nationals is always our primary concern.”

The mayor of Wuhan has acknowledged criticism over his handling of the crisis – admitting that information was not released quickly enough.

Zhou Xianwang spoke to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV wearing a face mask and said: “We haven’t disclosed information in a timely manner and also did not use effective information to improve our work.”

British citizens in the region have been told to call the FCO on +86 (0) 10 8529 6600 or (+44) (0)207 008 1500 should they need assistance.


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