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Brits evacuated from Wuhan to be ‘isolated for 14 days’: govt

British citizens evacuated from Wuhan, the epicentre of a deadly virus outbreak, will be isolated for two weeks with “all necessary medical attention”, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Wednesday.

“Anyone who returns from Wuhan will be safely isolated for 14 days, with all necessary medical attention,” he wrote on Twitter. “Public safety is the top priority.”

The official death toll in China from coronavirus has risen to 132, with 5,974 cases confirmed, overtaking the number of people infected in the mainland by the Sars epidemic in 2002-3.

In the UK 130 people have been tested for coronavirus, with all results negative, according to the latest update from the Department of Health and Social Care.

British nationals are due to be repatriated from Wuhan, the city at the centre of the outbreak, on Thursday morning. However, with the city on lockdown, fears have been raised that many may not be able to reach the airport.

Finland, the United Arab Emirates and Tibet confirmed their first cases of coronavirus, while a fourth case was confirmed in France and a sixth in Australia.

Nigerian Government has warned the citizens to delay trips to the virus-hit China as the country announced in a statement that there is no incident/case of the virus in the country yet.

The World Health Organisation’s emergencies chief says China is taking “extraordinary measures in the face of an extraordinary challenge” because of the virus outbreak, the Associated Press reports.

Dr Michael Ryan said the epidemic remains centred in the city of Wuhan and in Hubei province but that information is being updated and is changing by the hour. Many of those affected experience only a mild illness and estimated that the death rate is at about 2%, he said. The death rate for SARS, a related virus, was about 10%.

However, the few instances of the new virus spreading between people in countries beyond China, including Germany, are of great concern, Ryan added. He said that is part of the reason why the UN health agency’s director-general has reconvened a coronavirus expert committee to meet Thursday. It will assess whether the outbreak should be declared a global emergency.

Ryan made his comments to reporters on Wednesday after returning from a trip to Beijing to discuss the new virus with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other senior government leaders.

To date, about 99% of the nearly 6,000 cases are in China.

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