Coronavirus: the UK “well prepared” to deal with cases, says the government

Passengers repatriated to the UK from the cruise ship affected by the coronavirus

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On Saturday, the evacuates of the Diamond Princess cruise ship were taken to Arrowe Park hospital

The UK is “well prepared” for dealing with coronavirus cases and the risk for individuals “remains low,” said the government.

Downing Street said that 99% of those tested in the UK came back negative.

The total number of cases in the UK rose to 13 after four cruise ship passengers returned to Britain on Saturday tested positive for the virus.

It comes amid growing fears that the epidemic could reach the scale of the pandemic as more cases emerge worldwide.

A total of 6,536 coronavirus tests were conducted in the UK at 14:00 GMT on Monday, with 6,527 being negative. said the Department of Health.

Italy has the largest number of coronavirus cases in Europe, currently 165, and has reported its fifth death from viruses.

Severe measures have been taken to try to contain the epidemic, including the application of a blockade in several small cities in Lombardy and Veneto.

When asked if similar measures could be imposed in the UK, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We will be led by the board of public health experts and doctors and will take the steps they deem necessary to best protect the British public.”

The risk for individuals “remains low” and 99% of those tested in the UK have turned negative, the spokesman added.

He said: “We are well prepared for cases in the UK, we are using proven procedures to prevent further spread and the NHS is extremely well prepared and accustomed to handling infections.”

The government will continue to “work closely” with the World Health Organization and international partners and “will remain prepared for all eventualities,” he said.

The spokesman added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs updated the travel tips for Italy over the weekend.

The Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland has advised its citizens not to travel to the affected areas of Italy.

Meanwhile, rugby matches involving the Welsh club Ospreys and the Irish team Ulster have been postponed due to restrictions imposed by officials dealing with the epidemic in Italy.

Ospreys should have played Zebras in Parma on Saturday, while Ulster would have had to face Benetton in Treviso later on the same day.

They are planning to reschedule both games.

The UK has provided equipment including masks to China to help fight the spread of the disease, the spokesman said.

“We have provided [the Chinese government] with 1,800 glasses, 430,000 disposable gloves, 194,000 sanitizing wipes, 37,500 medical gowns and 2,500 masks, “he said.

The total number of cases in the UK rose to 13 after four cruise ship passengers flew to Britain on Saturday tested positive for the virus.

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More than 620 people aboard the Diamond Princess tested positive for the virus

They were between 30 British returnees and two Irish citizens who started a 14-day quarantine at Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral.

The four British citizens have caught the virus on the Diamond Princess coating in Japan and are being treated at specialized NHS infection centers.

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Two of the British who were not on evacuation flights, Sally and David Abel, are being treated in a Japanese hospital

Separately, four of the ship’s Britons who recently tested positive for the new coronavirus were not on Saturday’s return flight.

Among them were David and Sally Abel, of Northamptonshire, who were diagnosed with pneumonia, according to their family and who were treated in a Japanese hospital.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that it will not officially declare a coronavirus pandemic, but will begin to use the term in communications if it reaches that stage.

Spokeswoman Margaret Harris said: “We could start describing it as a pandemic, but at the moment we are saying that it is clusters and outbreaks in some countries.”

He said that in most cases there was a clear epidemiological link between those affected and the cases reported in Asia.

“If it has become clear that it is worldwide and we are witnessing a systematic transmission of the community, then we would say that this meets the definition of a pandemic,” he added.

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Media captionMark Lowen was on the ground on the edge of the blockade area of ​​the Italian coronavirus

The statements come as nations like South Korea, Italy and Iran are fighting to contain the virus, which causes Covid-19 respiratory disease.

About 77,000 people in China, where the virus emerged last year, have been infected and around 2,600 have died.

More than 1,200 cases have been confirmed in around 30 other countries and there have been more than 20 deaths.

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