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Coronavirus UK: Britain upgrades risk of deadly virus – Latest advice and news

Coronavirus UK: Britain upgrades risk of deadly virus - Latest advice and news 1

The Coronavirus is in the same viral family as SARS and MERS, which killed a combined total of almost 1,600 people when they originated in 2002 and 2015 respectively. This has sparked fears of a similar deadly pandemic in 2020.

Other measures expected to be announced today by the Government include installing a health team at Heathrow to meet flights, particularly the three weekly direct flights from Wuhan to London.

Passengers on flights will hear an announcement and be given a leaflet to encourage them to report if they are ill.

The plane will land in an isolated area of Heathrow Terminal 4 that “better lends itself to any health contingencies”.

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “The welfare of our passengers and colleagues is always our main priority and we are working with the Government to support the implementation of enhanced monitoring measures as a precaution.

“We would like to reassure passengers that the Government assesses the risk of a traveller contracting Coronavirus to be low.

“We would encourage anyone with individual questions or concerns to refer to guidance from Public Health England and the Foreign Office.”

Authorities in several countries, including Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan have stepped up screening of air passengers from Wuhan.

Cabin crew members will also observe passengers on international flights into Heathrow.

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Similar steps have already been taken by Australia and the US to identify potential carriers before they arrive at their destination.

As well as the US and Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan have also increased screenings of airline passengers travelling from Wuhan, which is a transport hub.

Several foreign tour operators said North Korea, China’s neighbour, is banning foreign tourists starting Wednesday.

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