UK calls new coronavirus 'serious and imminent threat'

2020-02-10 13:34

The British government on Monday warned the outbreak of novel coronavirus was a "serious and imminent threat" and announced new measures to protect the public.

Two hospitals have been designated as "isolation" facilities - both are currently housing Britons who have returned from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak.

Anyone with the virus can now be forcibly quarantined and sent into isolation if they are deemed to pose a public health threat.

READ | Overseas coronavirus spread may be 'tip of the iceberg', warns WHO

Britain has four confirmed cases of the virus, including one man who fell ill after going to a conference in Singapore. He was being treated as a specialist infectious diseases unit in London.

Two evacuation flights have returned British nationals from Wuhan and returnees have been taken into quarantine for two weeks.

"The incidence or transmission of novel Coronavirus constitutes a serious and imminent threat to public health," the health ministry said in a statement.

MUST READ | Chinese officials are only letting people leave their homes every 2 days

Health minister Matt Hancock said the new regulations would "ensure that the public are protected as far as possible from the transmission of the virus".

The SARS-like virus, which first emerged at the end of last year, has killed more than 900 people and spread around the world. Some 40 000 people have been infected in China and 350 elsewhere.

Read more on:    britain  |  coronavirus
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.