UK still free of deadly coronavirus as government ramps up prevention efforts

The UK is still free of the deadly coronavirus as the tests on 31 people have come back negative.

In a statement released on Saturday (January 25), the Department of Health said there are currently no confirmed cases in the UK or of UK citizens abroad, and the risk to the public is low.

There is currently an ongoing outbreak of the SARS-like coronavirus in certain parts of Asia (Photo: Shutterstock)

There is currently an ongoing outbreak of the SARS-like coronavirus in certain parts of Asia (Photo: Shutterstock)

However, the government assured the public that it is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to work with the Health Organisation (WHO) and international community guided by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer.

“If and when a first case in the UK is confirmed, it will be announced as soon as possible by the Chief Medical Officer of the affected country. This will be followed by a statement by England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty,” it said. 

Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

Wuhan novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.

It has been reported on Sunday (January 26), 15 more deaths from the new coronavirus, including one reported case in Shanghai, the first in the metropolis.

Thirteen more deaths were also announced in Hubei Province, where the outbreak began and one in Henan Province, bringing the death toll in China to 56, with 1,975 confirmed cases. 

The government also urged the people to seek medical attention if they have visited Wuhan and develop a fever, difficulty breathing or a cough within 14 days either in China or on their return to the UK.

“In the UK, please stay indoors and avoid contact with others where possible, call your GP or ring 111 informing them of your symptoms and your recent travel to the city,” it said.

They added that they have introduced advanced monitoring at airports with direct flights from China, with a team of public health experts established in Heathrow.

For more information, visit the Department of Health website here