First case of coronavirus confirmed in Wales – and two more in EnglandIvy Madziva
The first case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Wales and two more in England have taken the UK total to 19.
The chief medical officer for Wales Dr Frank Atherton said the patient had returned to Wales from northern Italy.
Burbage primary school in Buxton will be closed until Monday
In England, the two new patients contracted the virus in Iran and have been transferred to specialist NHS infection centres at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
The total number of cases in England is now 17. There has also been one case in Northern Ireland.
Dr Atherton said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to assure the public that Wales and the whole of the UK is well prepared for these types of incidents.
“Working with our partners in Wales and the UK, we have implemented our planned response, with robust infection control measures in place to protect the health of the public.”
Dr Giri Shankar, incident director for the Covid-19 outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said: “Public Health Wales is working hard to identify close contacts, and we are taking all appropriate actions to reduce any risk to the public’s health.”
On Thursday a school and doctor’s surgery in Buxton, Derbyshire, were closed after a parent returned from Tenerife with COVID-19.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to chair a meeting of the government’s Cobra contingencies committee on the outbreak on Monday.
“The Prime Minister is keen to chair Cobra on Monday to ensure that everything that can be done is being done,” a No 10 spokesman said.
In other developments:
- Schools in the UK could be closed for more than two months if the outbreak intensifies, England’s chief medical officer has said
- British cyclists Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish are being tested for the coronavirus after the UAE Tour was cancelled
- EasyJet and the owner of British Airways are to cancel European flights as a result of the coronavirus crisis
- There has been another sharp decrease in infections in China with 327 new cases and 44 deaths in the 24 hours to Friday
- World markets have tumbled, with the Dow Jones suffering its biggest one-day drop in its history
- A spokesman for Iran’s Health Ministry says 34 people have been killed by COVID-19 in the country and 388 people have been infected
- Switzerland has banned “all public and private” events involving more than 1,000 people, which includes the Geneva International Motor Show which was due to start next week
- The list of countries hit by the illness has reached 56 with Belarus, Lithuania and Azerbaijan reporting their first cases.
People who sat within two rows of the infected person from Northern Ireland on the plane from northern Italy to Dublin have been contacted, health authorities said.
The woman followed advice in reporting concerns to a GP, and “self isolated” at home whilst awaiting the results of testing. It is understood she has been treated at home.
Irish health chief Dr John Cuddihy said: “Each of the stages of this person’s journey have been identified and all relevant contacts in all of those stages of transport have been contacted (and) traced.”
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advising against travel to China, South Korea, Iran and northern Italy where the epidemic is most severe.
Italy has become the worst-affected country in Europe, with at least 650 cases and 15 deaths.
The World Health Organisation said the outbreak is “getting bigger” as more countries report their first cases.
WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told a Geneva news briefing that it was looking into reports of some people getting
re-infected, which would include reviewing how were tests taken, adding: “But in general a person who had coronavirus infection would be immune at least for a while.”
The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. But the risk to individuals remains low.
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