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UK measures in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus

PHE upgrades risk of coronavirus from very low to low

Jo Carlowe

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

The UK is to start monitoring flights arriving from China in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The measures, to be announced by the health secretary, will apply to flights from Wuhan to London Heathrow. People arriving from Wuhan will enter through a separate area in Heathrow’s Terminal 4, transport secretary, Grant Shapps, announced today. It is understood that on arrival they will be met by a health team.

The move comes as Public Health England (PHE) has upgraded the risk of the new coronavirus to the UK population from ‘very low’ to ‘low’. 

So far, there have been 440 confirmed cases of the virus, which broke out in Wuhan, China, and nine people have died. 

Over the weekend the numbers infected tripled, with the disease spreading to other Chinese cities, and abroad — including Thailand, Japan and the United States. 

Yesterday, authorities in China confirmed for the first time that human-to-human transmission had taken place. 

Health secretary Matt Hancock is due to announce a package of precautionary measures. 

The World Health Organisation is currently considering whether to declare an international public health emergency relating to the new coronavirus. Earlier this week, the WHO published a situation report on the outbreak.

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