Coronavirus latest: First cases of the disease confirmed in the UK
UK is ‘extremely well prepared’ for virus
The chief medical officer has assured the public that the British health service is “extremely well prepared” to deal with the coronavirus.
As he announced the UK’s first cases, Professor Chris Whitty said:
The NHS is extremely well prepared and used to managing infections and we are already working rapidly to identify any contacts the patients had, to prevent further spread. We have been preparing for UK cases of novel coronavirus and we have robust infection control measures in place to respond immediately.
First confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK
Two patients in England, who are members of the same family, have tested positive for coronavirus, the chief medical officer has said. These are the first confirmed cases of the illness in the UK.
Professor Chris Whitty said: “The patients are receiving specialist NHS care and we are using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus.”
The government has said it will not confirm the exact location of the outbreak to protect patient confidentiality.
The situation as it stands in China
The FT’s Ryan McMorrow in Beijing has the latest:
The death toll from the coronavirus epidemic that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan has risen to 213 with another 1,527 people in a serious condition, the country’s National Health Commission said on Friday.
China has another 15,238 suspected cases, while 102,427 people who have had close contact with infected people are being monitored.
The rapid spread of the virus has fuelled discontent over the Communist party’s management of the outbreak, especially claims that local authorities concealed information on the disease in the early weeks of the epidemic.
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Welcome to the FT’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus outbreak.
There is mounting anger in China over the official response to the crisis, as the number of people infected has surpassed the worldwide total of the Sars virus. An air evacuation of British citizens from the centre of the outbreak is under way, while the US has warned its nationals not to travel to China at all.
We will have the latest from the FT’s teams in China and around the world throughout the day.