Ministers are in a race against time to help British scientists develop a vaccine against the deadly coronavirus as they warned the infection was expected to reach the UK within days.
Officials working for Health Secretary Matt Hancock say that after three cases were uncovered in France over the weekend, the ‘operational assumption’ is that it will reach Britain by the end of the week – and possibly even sooner.
The Mail on Sunday understands the development has led Mr Hancock to order an acceleration in trials of vaccines targeting the virus.
People wearing face masks arrive at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain, 24 January 2020. The UK is to begin monitoring direct flights from China to stem the spread of the coronavirus in Britain.
Ministers are in a race against time to help British scientists develop a vaccine against the deadly coronavirus as they warned the infection was expected to reach the UK within days
Health officials are trying to track down an estimated 2,000 people who have recently returned to Britain from the region around the city of Wuhan, where the outbreak began.
There is a particular focus on schools and universities attended by more than 100,000 Chinese students.
The Department of Health said it was trying to find ‘as many passengers as we can’ who arrived from Hubei province in the past two weeks to check on their wellbeing.
Teams of doctors have been seconded to meet passengers off flights into Heathrow from China.
Public Health England has also made a breakthrough by developing a genetic test capable of diagnosing the virus ‘on the same working day’.
Officials working for Health Secretary Matt Hancock say that after three cases were uncovered in France over the weekend. Pictured: Patients waiting for medical attention in Wuhan
The ‘operational assumption’ is that it will reach Britain by the end of the week – and possibly even sooner. Pictured: People wearing surgical mask in West London
A senior Government source last night said: ‘We are determined to lead the world in the response to this. We are accelerating our plans for dealing with the virus when it finally arrives here.’
So far 31 people in the UK have been tested for Wuhan coronavirus – 17 since Friday – with all cases proving negative.
However, the source said the contagion was spreading through several clear stages – the outbreak in China, the spread beyond China and then first positive case in the UK, which is expected ‘within days’.
The hope is that imported cases can be identified immediately by medical teams at Heathrow, which is still receiving direct flights from China, and that any potential British outbreak is strangled at birth.
The doctors will then shepherd possibly symptomatic passengers into NHS care where they will be isolated so they do not spark a ‘homegrown’ outbreak.
NHS hospital staff have been told to look out for patients who might have the virus.
England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty has issued strict instructions to staff on how to protect themselves from infection.
However, as the virus has a week-long incubation period, health officials know that infected travellers could slip into Britain unawares – infecting others before becoming symptomatic.
That would trigger a major scramble to identify and quarantine all those who came into contact with the infected person, to stop a full-blown outbreak.
The virus has a week-long incubation period which means infected travellers could slip into Britain unawares – infecting others before becoming symptomatic. Pictured: Medical staff in protective clothing in Wuhan
Health officials are trying to track down an estimated 2,000 people who have recently returned to Britain from the region around the city of Wuhan, where the outbreak began
The chance of that frightening scenario was raised last night after it emerged two of the three Chinese nationals who have tested positive in France arrived without showing symptoms.
One of them entered France by land after flying into the Netherlands from China, underlining the limits of airport screening.
With the prospect of a pandemic, scientists at Imperial College, London, are working on a vaccine which they hope to be ready for human trials in less than two months.
Infection specialist Professor Robin Shattock said his team had two possible vaccines to test on animals in a fortnight.
Like other tests being developed, these are not traditional vaccines which offer the immune system a small part of virus to recognise.
Instead, they provide human cells with genetic instructions to fight the virus, which should mean they are safer and quicker to progress through trials.
Professor Shattock said: ‘We are ready to rapidly move those into human studies if somebody wants us to respond.’ He cautioned, however, that the approach was new and they were going from ‘point zero’.
The UK is also contributing to an international non-profit body, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), set up in 2016 after the West Africa Ebola epidemic.
CEPI is funding three other projects to find a vaccine, two in the US and one in Australia. It has set them a deadline of getting into human trials in 16 weeks.
The current record is for a Zika vaccine, which took seven months to go from the lab to human trials.
Doctors fear if it takes that long this time, coronavirus could already have swept the globe.
UK Government searches for 2,000 people who flew into Britain from infected Wuhan over past two weeks
By Peter Henn
Government officials were last night searching for some 2,000 people who flew from Wuhan to the UK over the past fortnight.
The Department of Health and the Border Force were scrambling to track down those who might not have shown any symptoms when they landed, but could still have been carrying the coronavirus.
There are usually three flights a week from Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, meaning up to 2,500 passengers and crew arrived over the two-week period, though some will have already left the country.
NHS hospital staff have been told to look out for patients who might have the virus
Flights from Wuhan are currently suspended, but a team of medics was yesterday dispatched to Heathrow to meet passengers arriving from other parts of the country.
Those awaiting loved ones were confronted with signs providing details of the dangers of coronavirus and symptoms to look out for.
Meanwhile, Public Health England installed a ‘public health hub’ on the airside part of Heathrow, with teams of seven medical staff working in shifts to identify any potential carriers.
Similar hubs have not been set up at other UK airports such as Gatwick and Manchester, even though they also receive flights from China.
A Public Health England spokesman said: ‘We’ve established a hub at Heathrow as this has the most direct from flights from China. As part of a precautionary approach, leaflets and information will be made available across UK airports, advising travellers from China on what do to if they feel unwell.’
Travellers getting on planes across Asia are now being quizzed about the locations that they had recently visited, with officials looking out for any trips to Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei province.
Passengers also had their temperatures taken before they boarded flights.
One passenger, who gave her name as Fen, said those flying from the city of Guangzhou, 600 miles from Wuhan, had been told to tell immigration officials if they had any potential symptoms.
‘The checks were done when we were taking off,’ she said. ‘We were told about what to expect at London, but as far as I know no one on the flight was ill. Guangzhou is a long way from Wuhan.’
Another traveller, who arrived at Heathrow on an Air China flight from Beijing, said: ‘They checked our temperature when we got on the plane, but when we arrived in London, nothing.’
Meulin Ha, who flew to Heathrow from Shanghai, saw no discernible difference from previous trips. Shanghai is about 500 miles from Wuhan and Beijing is 700 miles away.
When asked why no tests had been carried out on those arriving from Wuhan before flights were suspended, Professor Chris Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer, said experts had decided that ‘screening would not provide any appreciable increase in benefit for the UK public’.
Doctors are on standby at Heathrow to meet any sick passengers arriving from China as all 31 patients tested for coronavirus in UK are CLEARED and Border Force hunts 2,000 people who flew in from Wuhan in last two weeks
- Border Force agents have been deployed to crank up search for those who came from eastern Hubei province
- While 14 people have been tested and given the all-clear, up to 20 people were last night still awaiting results
- The deadly coronavirus has hit Europe with France confirming its first three cases of the deadly condition
- Medics are being stationed at Heathrow to monitor passengers as virus has now reached almost 12 countries
Doctors have been dispatched to Heathrow to immediately treat any passengers feared to have carried the coronavirus from China and stop the deadly infection spreading on British soil.
This afternoon, passengers from Beijing touched down at London’s flagship airport where a rotation team of seven medics are on standby for anyone feeling sick.
UK health officials have erected clinician hubs for people exhibiting symptoms of the virus, yet have warned these signs of infection may not sprout up until long after they leave the airport and fan out across the country.
Border Force agents are already racing to track down 2,000 people who arrived from the outbreak’s epicenter of Wuhan in the two weeks before a flight freeze was imposed on Wednesday.
The global death toll of the crisis has climbed to 55 and 1,300 have been infected worldwide, but no cases have so far been confirmed in the UK.
According to two separate scientific analyses of the epidemic, each person infected with coronavirus is passing the disease on to between two and three other people on average at current transmission rates.
All 31 patients probed for coronavirus across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been cleared.
But England’s chief medical officer has warned doctors to brace for cases of infected persons in the UK over the coming days.
Only across the Channel, France is treating its first three cases in Paris and Bordeaux, according to the country’s health minister Agnes Buzyn who added it was likely others would arise.
Passengers arriving at Heathrow today from China where the deadly coronavirus is sweeping the country and has killed 41
A rotation team of seven doctors are stationed at Heathrow (passengers arriving pictured) in case any people flying in from China feel unwell
Although a flight freeze has been imposed on planes from Wuhan, other flights from China are coming into the UK today
Pictured: Boris Johnson celebrating Chinese New Year. Pressure is now mounting on the government to ramp up Britain’s response and screen all passengers on flights from China
Timeline of how the UK has reacted to the coronavirus outreak
The Department of Health announces enhanced monitoring from all flights from Wuhan to the UK, but there are few to be checked, after the Chinese city of Wuhan is essentially shut down in an attempt to control the spread of the virus.
Train stations and the airport were closed, while ferries and long-distance buses were also stopped.
‘To my knowledge, trying to contain a city of 11 million people is new to science,’ Gauden Galea, the WHO’s representative in China said.
There are 17 confirmed fatalities from the virus.
Public Health England confirms that 14 people in the UK have been tested for the virus, with five having come back negative, and another nine awaiting results, while Health Secretary Matt Hancock says the NHS is ‘ready to respond appropriately’ to any cases of coronavirus that emerge in the UK.
The World Health Organisation says it is ‘too early’ to declare a public health emergency.
Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong all report their first cases of the illness.
Matt Hancock chairs a Cobra meeting on the Government’s planned response to the virus.
Afterwards, he reiterates to reporters on Whitehall that the threat to the UK is ‘low’.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, confirms that the tests for coronavirus on 14 people in the UK have all come back negative but there are checks ongoing on others.
Health officials team up with Border Force agents and airlines to try to track down around 2,000 people who have recently flown to the UK from Wuhan.
Three cases are confirmed in France – one in Bordeaux and two in the Paris area – the first in Europe.
The Chinese National Health Commission reported a jump in the number of infected people to 1,287, while the death toll rises to 41.
Four cases are confirmed in Australia, one in Victoria and three in New South Wales.
Dr. Yazdan Yazdanpaneh, the lead doctor on the case, said the two patients at Paris’ Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital have separate, specially equipped rooms and were doing well. He could not say when they may eventually be released. Ways in which the virus can be transmitted remain unclear.
Yazdanpaneh said both patients are from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the viral respiratory illness first was detected. The virus so far has infected more than 1,200 people and killed at least 41.
The patients in Paris are a couple, a 31-year-old man and a woman of 30. They arrived in France on Jan. 18 without symptoms, but one developed symptoms the next day and the other soon followed, the doctor said.
Yazdanpaneh, a leading French expert who heads Bichat’s infectious diseases unit, said that cases imported from China were ‘not a surprise’ and that France had prepared, including by developing a test that provides rapid results for suspected cases.
As the scramble to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus is ratcheted up:
- China’s National Health Commission reported the number of people infected with a new virus has risen to over 1,400 with 41 deaths;
- Thirteen Chinese cities were in lockdown with the virus also confirmed in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, the US, Vietnam and Nepal;
- Hong Kong declared the coronavirus outbreak and emergency;
- Boarding schools were warned that thousands of Chinese pupils could be stranded in the UK;
- Australia confirmed on Saturday its first four cases of the new coronavirus;
- The Chinese army deployed medical specialists to Hubei province as authorities expanded travel bans;
The Department of Health confirmed it was trying to find ‘as many passengers as we can’ who arrived from Wuhan as the public were cautioned it was ‘highly likely’ the coronavirus would reach British shores.
Some of these may have already flown back to China such as 15 students who visited Cambridge University on January 13, but have since returned to Asia.
The scale of the global outbreak and fears it could be unleashed on Britain sparked a snap meeting of the government’s Cobra committee chaired by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Boris Johnson, who was occupied with hosting Chinese New Year celebrations, left the top-ranking officials to thrash out a plan to fend of the virus and dismiss the overall threat as ‘low’.
But following the meeting, chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said: ‘We think there’s a fair chance we may get some cases over time.
‘Of course this depends on whether this continues for a long time, or whether this turns out to be something which is brought under control relatively quickly.’
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is also forecasting more cases of the disease to sprout up in the continent.
The United States has moved to pull out its diplomats from their Wuhan consulate, but the UK Foreign Office is refusing to say whether British consulate staff will follow.
Among this first batch of UK patients to be tested for the killer condition was art teacher Michael Hope, 45, who returned from Wuhan with flu-like symptoms last Sunday.
He was quarantined for 27 hours at Newcastle’s Royal Infirmary and finally given the thumbs up after being treated by medics who ‘looked like spacemen’.
The check-ups of those who have arrived on British soil from China is being carried out by heavily-suited doctors, according to Mr Hope who was one of the first treated.
He said: ‘I felt like E.T., to be honest. It was totally, totally surreal.’ He added that it took his nurse several minutes to get into all the protective fear just to deliver him a banana for breakfast – and he was grateful for getting a nicotine patch passed under his door.
Mr Hope arrived back Sunday feeling unwell, having been ill since January 4. He told his GP about his symptoms and recent return from Wuhan in a telephone clinic. He was rushed to the city’s Royal Victoria Infirmary and put in isolation.
He underwent tests before getting the good news on Thursday evening he had the flu, but not the coronavirus. He said: ‘The staff came in with their masks off, so then I knew I was going to be okay.’
During the isolation period, staff wore protective suits and they tested his blood, urine and took throat swabs.
It took his nurse several minutes to get into all the protective gear just to deliver him a banana for breakfast, and he was grateful for the delivery of a nicotine patch which was passed under his door.
Mr Hope said: ‘The care was exceptional. It was scary being there but they made me feel quite relaxed. They were very human even though they looked like spacemen.
‘I was impressed with the speed with which they dealt with it. They would come in through one sealed door and leave through another. Every time they left they had to dispose of their clothing.’
Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomes members of the Chinese community at 10 Downing Street, London, in celebration of the Chinese New Year
British patient describes quarantine scare
Craig Dillon, 27, told how he was bundled through a secret hospital entrance and into isolation at breakneck speed as soon as he mentioned his recent flight from China.
He described being probed by doctors and nurses wearing heavy-duty hazmat suits while their fellow medics watched with baited breath behind toughened glass.
The Westminster-based digital media guru is one of 14 people who have been tested and given the all-clear following returns from China where the deadly virus has killed 41.
After waking up on Tuesday night dripping with sweat and struggling to breathe, he rushed to St Thomas’ Hospital, London on the advice of a 111 operator.
‘When I arrived I was so weak I had to lean against the wall,’ he wrote in the Telegraph.
‘This doctor asked if I was okay and when I replied: ‘I’m feeling really ill, I just came back from China,’ he literally grabbed me by the arm and led me back outside the hospital.
‘A nurse came out and gave me a mask and then I was shown to this secret door around the back.’
After a tense three-hour wait, he breathed a sigh of relief when he was revealed to have caught pneumonia.
In the early hours of Saturday China’s National Health Commission reported the number of people infected with a new virus has risen to 1,287 with 41 deaths. The commission said the latest tally comes from 29 provinces across China, including 237 patients in serious condition.
All 41 deaths have been in China, including 39 in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, one in Hebei and one in Heilongjiang.
A man in his 50s has now been quarantined in Melbourne, Australia after contracting the deadly virus. He showed no symptoms of the virus when he travelled back alone from Wuhan, via Guangzhou, in China on January 19.
Pressure is now mounting on Mr Hancock to ramp up Britain’s response and screen all passengers on flights from China.
Travellers arriving at Heathrow from the Chinese city of Wuhan, at the heart of the outbreak, revealed they were not subject to any screening checks, and that it was a ‘completely normal flight’.
MailOnline understands passengers flying from China are not mandated to undergo a medical probe, but are advised to go to one of the doctors hubs in the terminal if they feel unwell.
Ed Davey, the acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, today told Mr Hancock to ‘pull his finger’ out and demanded he explains how the Government plans to protect the British public from the killer SARS-like infection, which has struck down more than 900 people across the world and can be spread through coughing.
US president Donald Trump said the coronavirus outbreak ‘will all work out well’ as he praised China’s handling of the outbreak, tweeting: ‘China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!’
Hospitals in Liverpool, Newcastle and two in London – the Royal Free and Guy’s And St Thomas’ – have readied their ‘high consequence infectious disease’ treatment centres to receive patients. The hospitals are each equipped with high-tech isolation units and staffed by separate teams who specialise in treating adults and children.
Officials admitted it would be almost impossible to stop the virus arriving in the UK because of a two-week incubation period – meaning someone could arrive from China showing no symptoms, before later falling ill.
The festivities to herald in the Year of the Rat in 2020 came as the Government held a Cobra crisis meeting to discuss the coronavirus outbreak
A man wears a face mask next to a coronavirus notice at Heathrow Airport this morning. Heathrow has since announced it will have a ‘public health hub’ for travellers
Public Health England said: ‘No system of checks can claim to offer absolute protection because of the incubation period of the virus.
‘Some people might only show symptoms 14 days after exposure to an infected person.’
England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said there was a ‘fair chance’ Britain would see cases emerge – and stressed that tackling the virus would be a ‘marathon not a sprint’.
Last night a study of the first 41 cases in Wuhan, published in the Lancet medical journal, showed two thirds of them were among otherwise-healthy people – suggesting anyone could be at risk.
Worryingly, even those who did not show symptoms were able to carry and transmit the disease, the study showed. Fears of a possible pandemic also sparked a stampede for protective face masks across Britain, with one Scottish pharmacy selling an unprecedented 2,000 in one day.
Before all flights were cancelled out of Wuhan on Wednesday night there were three direct journeys to Heathrow each week.
Ministers yesterday ordered search parties to track down the estimated 2,000 people who have flown to the UK from Wuhan in the last fortnight. They will then be contacted and quizzed about their health. If any show signs of the virus they will be asked to undergo immediate testing.
Sources yesterday defended the failure to introduce passenger screening at UK airports, saying it was ‘ineffective’ against a virus that can have an incubation period of up to 14 days. Professor Whitty said: ‘The risk to the UK remains low, but there may well be cases in the UK at some stage.’
Officials said people feeling ill should call, rather than visit, their GP for fear of spreading the virus.
Guests of Mr Johnson included the Chinese ambassador to the UK, Lui Xiaoming (pictured today attending the celebrations)
Mr Johnson hosted figures from the British-Chinese community in the heart of Westminster ahead of the lunar new year on Saturday
None of the fourteen patients tested in the UK (pictured, where they were reportedly being treated) yesterday have the virus. MailOnline understands up to 10 more patients are being tested
Revealed: Advice to NHS doctors if they fear a patient has coronavirus
Doctors in the UK have been told to leave the room straight away and shut their patient in if they think they might have the Chinese coronavirus.
Public Health England earlier this week issued official guidance for doctors as concerns grow that the contagious illness will make its way to the UK.
No cases have been confirmed in the UK yet. At least 15 medical workers in Wuhan have become infected while treating patients with the virus.
The PHE guidance, issued to GP practice doctors this week, read: ‘If [the Wuhan coronavirus] is considered possible when a consultation is already in progress, withdraw from the room, close the door and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
‘Avoid physical examination of a suspected case. The patient should remain in the room with the door closed. Belongings and waste should remain in the room.
‘Advise others not to enter the room. If a clinical history still needs to be obtained or completed, do this by telephone.
‘The patient should not be allowed to use communal toilet facilities.
‘Instruct them to not touch anything or anyone when walking to the toilet. Instruct the patient to wash their hands thoroughly after toileting.’
If the patient is critically ill, they should be put into an ambulance, PHE said.
But otherwise, a hospital should be phoned ahead and warned and the patient must be told to get there without using public transport or a taxi.
Advice for NHS staff:
• Ask for detailed travel history from all patients with flu-like symptoms to help identify potential cases.
• If a GP identifies a possible case, the person should be isolated immediately and medic must then contact their NHS Trust airborne virus team to set up a test.
• Patient should be taken to nearest ‘appropriate isolation facilities’ for checks and testing.
• If coronavirus is detected, the patient will be transferred to an Airborne High Consequences Infectious Diseases centre – these are Guy’s and St Thomas’ and the Royal Free in London. Royal Liverpool. Newcastle upon Tyne Hospital.
The government usually convenes Cobra – short for Cabinet Briefing Room A – to deal with a developing or imminent crisis. It sees senior ministers, often led by the Prime Minister, sit down with senior officials and experts in Whitehall.
First set up in the 1970s, as well as being convened in the wake of terrorist attacks it has also met recently to discuss foreign and domestic issues including floods which struck part of the UK last November and the migrant crisis at Calais.
Professor Whitty, who was part of the meeting, said: ‘COBR met today to discuss the situation in Wuhan, China, and elsewhere in Asia. I updated on the current situation, the preparedness of the NHS, and possible next steps.
‘We all agree that the risk to the UK public remains low, but there may well be cases in the UK at some stage. We have tried and tested measures in place to respond. The UK is well prepared for these types of incidents, with excellent readiness against infectious diseases.’
‘We have global experts monitoring the situation around the clock and have a strong track record of managing new forms of infectious disease. The UK has access to some of the best infectious disease and public health experts in the world.
‘There are no confirmed cases in the UK to date. We have been carefully monitoring the situation in Wuhan, China, since the beginning of the outbreak and are now implementing our planned response.
‘A public health hub will be set up in Heathrow from today. This consists of clinicians and other public health officials, in addition to existing port health measures. The World Health Organization has rightly responded quickly and China has introduced strong public health measures.’
Public Health England yesterday confirmed 14 patients in the UK were tested for suspicious symptoms that were similar to those caused by the coronavirus. No identities were confirmed but most were thought to be Chinese tourists.
Scottish officials said they were testing five cases in Edinburgh and Glasgow ‘as a precaution’. Another man was being tested in isolation at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, and there was a suspected case in Hillingdon, west London. The locations of the other patients were never confirmed.
MailOnline has not been told where the new cases are in the UK – only that there a handful of patients being tested with suspicious coronavirus-like symptoms.
When asked why no physical tests were carried out on arrivals into the UK from Wuhan on Wednesday – the city’s last flight into Britain before the shut down, Professor Whitty said: ‘Every country does this slightly differently, that’s always been the case.
‘The way the UK does this, and will continue to, is to make sure we get the best scientific advice for the particular threat.’
He said that after a meeting of the Scientific Advisory Group of Experts, it was concluded: ‘The screening would not really provide any appreciable increase in benefit for the UK public.’
When asked whether checks would be upscaled to include people who have arrived on all flights from China, Mr Whitty said: ‘We’re trying to get ourselves to a place where we can provide a sustainable system that can be scaled to whatever the outbreak looks like.
‘It may be that this spreads, it may be that this goes down over time and we need to be ready to respond to either of those.’ He added that Britain ‘needs to plan for all eventualities’.
Amid fears that Britain can do little to stop the virus spreading, Health Secretary Matt Hancock stressed that officials were ‘well prepared’ for its arrival. As well as the announcement this afternoon that Heathrow would set up a public health hub, all UK airports have medical experts on hand and information is being provided to all passengers returning from China.
Student newspaper The Tab today revealed 15 students from Wuhan (pictured) attended the University of Cambridge this week, before the city was placed on lockdown
Cambridge University’s Jesus College posted on Instagram this week, writing: ‘It’s been great having the Wuhan University students around the College to learn from a range of lecturers’
On its website, the university says: ‘From 13-22 January 2020, Jesus College welcomed 15 visitors from Wuhan College, China, for an education enrichment programme’
Passengers this morning arrived at Heathrow Airport wearing protective masks over fears of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak
Passengers are pictured arriving at Heathrow Terminal 4 today wearing protective masks as signs have been installed around the airport warning passengers of the symptoms of the virus
Photos from inside the intensive care unit at Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan show medical workers caring for critically-ill patients today, January 24
WHAT IS THE SITUATION IN THE US?
Two people in the US have now caught the coronavirus – a man near Seattle, Washington, and a woman in Chicago, Illinois.
The man, who is in his 30s, is in hospital in Washington state, close to Seattle, and recovering well.
Authorities are also monitoring 43 people with whom he came into contact with before he was diagnosed five days after returning home from Wuhan.
The Chicago woman, who is in her 60s, returned from Wuhan on January 13.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is also testing another 63 possible cases in 22 states.
There are 10 people in California being held in isolation while they wait for test results, CBS News reports, as well as a Texas A&M student who had visited Wuhan and a student at Tennessee Tech.
Speaking on Wednesday, January 22, President Donald Trump he was ‘not at all’ concerned about the possibility of a pandemic.
‘It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control,’ he said.
‘We have it totally under control. We do have a plan, and we think it’s going to be handled very well.’
Dr Martin Cetron, of the CDC, said the US was planning a ‘very complex process’ of rerouting passengers.
He added: ‘With increasing cases, we decided to move into this full-on, 100 percent coverage strategy’.
The US announced it is pulling most of its diplomats and their families from the consulate general in Wuhan.
But ministers have faced criticism for failing to monitor jet passengers arriving from China, when other countries – including Turkey, Malaysia and Singapore have since introduced more rigorous checks with passengers having their temperature taken regardless of symptoms.
Acting Lib Dem boss Ed Davey criticised Mr Hancock, telling Sun Online: ‘It’s time Matt Hancock pulled his finger out. We need to know how long the UK government has known the level of threat and how he is going to protect our citizens.
‘These problems do not know borders and Hancock needs to work with international partners to stop this situation before it gets worse.’
Exiting the Cabinet Office this afternoon, Mr Hancock said: ‘We have just held a Cobra meeting on the coronavirus concerns. As I made clear to the House yesterday, the clinical advice is that the risk to the public remains low and the chief medical officer will be making a full statement later today.’
Anyone with the symptoms, who has travelled to the UK via Wuhan, will be tested for the virus and if cases are confirmed put in isolation at one of four UK super-hospitals: Two in London, one in Liverpool and one in Newcastle.
Officials yesterday warned thousands of foreign students who have gone back to China to celebrate their New Year this weekend could return to the UK unaware they have the virus.
Universities are already identifying staff and students who have recently visited the worst-hit areas, with some told that they will not be allowed back on campus unless they agree to a ‘suitable quarantine period’.
Student newspaper The Tab today revealed 15 students from Wuhan attended the University of Cambridge this week, before the city was placed on lockdown. It reported that the students also went clubbing in the city and that Cambridge Colleges have emailed students a document with advice regarding the coronavirus.
MailOnline has seen an email sent to students at Cambridge’s Jesus College, where the Wuhan travellers went to, which says none of the visitors have shown any signs of infection as of yet.
Private schools, many of which also have large contingents of Chinese students, also issued guidance. China sends more pupils to UK fee-paying schools than any other country.
The Boarding Schools Association (BSA) said ‘schools might wish to consider planning for the eventuality that some boarders either cannot or choose not to travel home at half-term or, more likely, Easter’.
While there is ‘no immediate cause for concern’ the situation needs to be closely monitored, independent school groups have said.
The Foreign Office has updated its travel advice to Britons in China, advising against all travel to Wuhan City following the coronavirus outbreak.
‘The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Wuhan City,’ guidance on the gov.uk website now reads.
‘If you are in this area and able to leave, you should do so. This is due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak.’
Huge efforts are being made by construction workers in Wuhan to erect a new hospital in less than a week on the government’s orders. Officials said the medical facility must be built to cope with overwhelming numbers of coronavirus patients
News footage from China shows a patient being wheeled out of a Wuhan hospital on a stretcher by medics wearing protective clothing and masks
Shoppers at Oxfordshire’s Bicester Village outlet wear face masks today amid fears of catching the killer coronavirus
A man in Manchester is pictured today wearing a face mask in Manchester’s Chinatown. The Government’s Cobra committee is meeting in Downing Street to discuss the threat to the UK from coronavirus
A spectator wears a mask as she watches the Changing of the Guard ceremony outside of Buckingham Palace this morning
A woman in Glasgow’s George Square wears a face mask today. Five patients in Scotland were tested for coronavirus after returning from China with flu-like symptoms
Two women are seen wearing protective face masks as they walk through the streets of central London this morning
Shanghai’s Disneyland will close to visitors tomorrow for ‘the prevention and control of the disease outbreak’. Visitors wearing masks walk past the resort today which has taken the extraordinary step of closing during the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday
The Forbidden City (pictured today) is also closed and part of the Great Wall of China, a huge tourist destination and one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was shut to stop the spread of the coronavirus
France is treating its first three cases in Paris (pictured) and Bordeaux, according to the country’s health minister Agnes Buzyn who added that the number was likely to rise
HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE FLOWN TO LONDON FROM WUHAN SINCE THE OUTBREAK BEGAN?
Before Wuhan’s unprecedented move to cancel all flights out of the city on Wednesday night, there were three direct journeys to London Heathrow each week.
Hubei province, where Wuhan is, first reported a mysterious bout of pneumonia cases on December 31. Tests later confirmed it later turned out to be the killer coronavirus.
MailOnline has calculated there were 10 flights from Wuhan between then and when the city home to 11million people was put on lockdown – with the last flight on Wednesday, January 22.
China Southern airline, which operated all of the flights landing at Heathrow, are thought to use the Boeing 787-800 plane for the near 12-hour journey.
Information online suggests the plane holds 219 passengers, including 36 in business class, 72 in economy plus and 111 in standard economy.
Therefore, it is thought that at least 2,000 patients will have travelled directly from Wuhan to London since the outbreak first began.
Public Health England said it was ‘really not in their remit’ to confirm the numbers – but added: ‘Individuals should seek medical attention if they develop respiratory symptoms within 14 days of visiting Wuhan, either in China or on their return to the UK.
‘They should phone ahead before attending any health services and mention their recent travel to the city.’
The World Health Organisation last night stopped short of declaring it a ‘global health emergency’, but said there was no doubt it ‘may yet become one’.
The virus – previously unknown to science – first appeared in Wuhan last month. It originated in a meat market and scientists believe it ‘jumped the species barrier’ from snakes, which may have been on sale illegally, to humans.
Symptoms begin with a fever, a dry cough and sneezing. This is followed by shortness of breath about a week later, which can develop into pneumonia.
All 26 deaths known about so far have occurred in China and most patients were elderly. The virus has now spread to nine countries including the US, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore and Vietnam.
Japan has recorded two cases, one of which exposes how infected travellers leaving China could be missed by health checks. The Wuhan resident, in his 40s, developed a fever several days before his journey to Japan. But his condition then stabilised. He reported a fever again three days after he arrived and is now in a Tokyo hospital, Japan’s health ministry said.
On Wednesday night, China suspended all flights out of Wuhan. Direct flights from the city to Heathrow were halted as a result, although there are still many flights into the UK from other Chinese cities. Currently, there are no screening measures on these flights on arrival.
Yesterday the NHS‘s Chief Medical Officer wrote to hundreds of thousands of doctors and nurses advising them to establish whether patients had recently visited Wuhan. The letter said Chinese New Year celebrations could ‘amplify transition’, including within the UK, due to the ‘mass movement’ of people around the world.
University staff are worried that some of the Chinese students who will travel home this Saturday will bring the infection back. As coronavirus has an incubation period of up to two weeks – the time between infection and symptoms beginning – they may pass it on before they even feel ill.
Medical staff work in the ICU (intensive care unit) of Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan
Medical workers transfer a patient who is on the mend out of the ICU (intensive care unit) of Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan
People are seen passing through a quarantine tent at Beijing West Railway Station as 14 cities around China had special measures put in place today
Medical workers at Zhongnan Hospital are pictured in protective gear today, Friday January 24
Public buses could be seen parked and unattended in Wuhan today – the city’s public transport has shut down
An unverified video posted on Twitter claims to show members of Central Theater Command – a division of the People’s Liberation Army – standing guard outside a train station in Wuhan
Passengers at the Beijing Railway Station were today pictured wearing face masks amid fears of the outbreak spreading to the capital. Major Lunar New Year celebrations have been cancelled in the city
People wear masks in the Jingshan Park in Beijing today, January 24. New Year celebrations planned in the park will no longer go ahead
Medical staff transfers a coronavirus patient in Wuhan City – a metropolis of 10million people where 2,000 people in Britain today have been in the past fortnight
An employee this morning sprayed disinfectant on a train at Suseo Station in Seoul, South Korea, as a precaution against the coronavirus
Coronavirus: What we know so far
What is this virus?
The virus has been identified as a new type of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of pathogens, most of which cause mild respiratory infections such as the common cold.
But coronaviruses can also be deadly. SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, is caused by a coronavirus and killed hundreds of people in China and Hong Kong in the early 2000s.
Can it kill?
Yes. Twenty-six people have so far died after testing positive for the virus.
What are the symptoms?
Its symptoms are typically a fever, cough and trouble breathing, but some patients have developed pneumonia, a potentially life-threatening infection that causes inflammation of the small air sacs in the lungs. People carrying the novel coronavirus may only have mild symptoms, such as a sore throat. They may assume they have a common cold and not seek medical attention, experts fear.
How is it detected?
The virus’s genetic sequencing was released by scientists in China to the rest of the world to enable other countries to quickly diagnose potential new cases. This helps other countries respond quickly to disease outbreaks.
To contain the virus, airports are detecting infected people with temperature checks. But as with every virus, it has an incubation period, meaning detection is not always possible because symptoms have not appeared yet.
How did it start and spread?
The first cases identified were among people connected to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan.
Cases have since been identified elsewhere which could have been spread through human-to-human transmission.
What are countries doing to prevent the spread?
Countries in Asia have stepped up airport surveillance. They include Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines.
Australia and the US are also screening patients for a high temperature, and the UK announced it will screen passengers returning from Wuhan.
Is it similar to anything we’ve ever seen before?
Experts have compared it to the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The epidemic started in southern China and killed more than 700 people in mainland China, Hong Kong and elsewhere
SCROLL DOWN TO SEE MAILONLINE’S FULL Q&A ON THE CORONAVIRUS
One in five international students in Britain is from China. Professor Juergen Haas, the head of infection medicine at Edinburgh University, said there would be ‘many more’ suspected cases, especially in cities with high Chinese student populations. These include Manchester, Birmingham and London.
Mr Hancock yesterday told the Commons: ‘The number of deaths and the number of cases is likely to be higher than those that have been confirmed so far and I expect them to rise further. The public can be assured that the whole of the UK is always well prepared for these type of outbreaks.’
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organisation, said: ‘Make no mistake. This is an emergency in China. But it has not yet become a global health emergency. It may yet become one.’
Jeremy Farrar, of research charity the Wellcome Trust, said: ’This isn’t just a China issue, it’s going to affect us all.’
The locations of all the 14 patients is not clear at this stage, but earlier today tests on five patients in Scotland had not yet ruled out coronavirus. It is unclear where they are being treated but sources say they are at both Glasgow‘s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary.
All of the patients in Scotland are thought to be in isolation and MailOnline understands they flew in to London in the past fortnight before making their wa
- Meet the Amateur Scientist Who Discovered Climate Change
- 600 earthquakes shake Big Island of Hawaii in 4 days, fear of volcanic eruption increases
- Essay: Letter to a Young Scientist
- Flying insects tell tales of long-distance migrations
- Amazing hot-seat multiplayer games to play on one smartphone or tablet! (Android and iOS)
- When is the next full moon? March’s Pink Moon explained and the 2018 lunar calendar in full
- Deflecting Asteroids
- Rockets For The Red Planet
- What is a Pink Moon and when is the next full moon in March 2018? Full lunar calendar revealed
- 110 Predictions For the Next 110 Years
- Best Now TV shows: great Now TV shows available on Sky's streaming box
- Why We Will Need Genetically Modified Foods
- Facebook AI Director Yann LeCun on His Quest to Unleash Deep Learning and Make Machines Smarter
- Awesome Amazon reviews that are bound to amuse
- From hand cranking to charging: Why Tesla’s Model S is the Model T of our time
- Swimming to Europa
- Madagascar has a hi-tech waterless toilet that charges your phone
- Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Meta
- The 10 Most (And Least) Accurate Sci-Fi Movies
Killer coronavirus will hit Britain 'within days': Race is on to find vaccine as UK scientists prepare to fly out to hot spots have 7718 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at January 25, 2020. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.