Earlier this week the World Health Organization (WHO) named the disease caused by coronavirus as Covid-19. Thousands in the UK have tested negative for the disease, but the number of infections are increasing around the world.
What is the UK’s coronavirus risk?
Public Health England (PHE) have not increased the risk level to the public following the ninth confirmed UK case.
However recently PHE raised the risk of coronavirus to the public from low to moderate.
The Government website reads: “Based on the World Health Organization’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate.
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“This permits the government to plan for all eventualities.”
However the risk to individuals “remains low.”
PHE add: “Based on the scientific advice of SAGE the UK Chief Medical Officers are advising anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.”
Professor Paul Cosford of PHE told the BBC on Wednesday more cases of coronavirus in the UK are “highly likely”.
As there are now a number of “countries of concern”, Professor Cosford said new cases could be brought in from people travelling abroad.
At the end of January, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus a global health emergency.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference: “The main reason is not because of what is happening in China, but because of what is happening in other countries.
“Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to other countries with weaker health systems, which are ill prepared to deal with it.”
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How many people have been infected with coronavirus?
More than 45,000 people have been infected with coronavirus since it was first discovered in December 2019.
The virus originated in a seafood market in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Since the virus was discovered, 1,188 people with the illness have died.
The majority of deaths have occured in China, however some patients have also died in Hong Kong and the Philippines.
As of February 12, nine cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK, with the latest in London.
Dr Michael Head, a senior researcher at the University of Southampton, told The Sun it is “not surprising” a case has now been confirmed in London.
He said: “If confirmed, it is not surprising that London has seen its first case of the coronavirus.
“It’s a city of over 10 million people with several major international airports.
“Both London and the rest of the UK can expect to see more cases, though hopefully these will continue to be isolated cases and seen in small numbers.
“It should also be noted that, of the 1,750 tests carried out so far in the UK, more than 99% of those tested have been negative for the coronavirus.
“Thus, risks to Londoners and UK residents remain low though people should continue to keep an eye on guidance for the general public”.