By New Scientist staff and Press Association
The first cases of the new coronavirus emerged in China
The first cases of the new coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK. Two members of the same family have tested positive for the infection in England.
The confirmation came as more than 80 Britons on an evacuation flight from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak, were due to land in the UK.
The Department of Health declined to say where in England the patients are from, but it is understood they are not in the Wirral area, where a special facility has been set up to quarantine those returning from Wuhan.
The patients are receiving specialist NHS care, and we are using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus,” said the chief medical officer for England, Chris Whitty, in a statement.
The NHS is extremely well-prepared and used to managing infections and we are already working rapidly to identify any contacts the patients had, to prevent further spread,” he said. We have been preparing for UK cases of novel coronavirus and we have robust infection control measures in place to respond immediately.”
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