Coronavirus tests negative for two Scottish patients

Coronavirus tests on two patients in Scotland have come back negative, the country’s chief medical officer has said.

Five people have been suspected of having coronavirus in Scotland but the first wave of test results revealed two of the patients were not infected by the potentially fatal virus.

The remaining three Scottish patients are still awaiting the results of tests.

There are currently no confirmed cases of the infection in the UK, with all 14 tests all coming back negative.

All the people tested in the UK are believed to have visited Wuhan – the Chinese city where the outbreak originated.

Health Protection Scotland is advising travellers returning from Wuhan who become unwell within a fortnight from a sore throat, cough or breathing difficulties to call their GP or NHS 24.

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood said: “Scotland is well prepared for these types of outbreaks – we have a proven track record of dealing with challenging health issues and the UK was one of the first countries in the world to develop a test for the new virus.

“I am being kept fully informed about the precautionary steps being taken, including timely updates on the patients who are currently being tested.”

An emergency Cobra meeting was chaired by Health Secretary Matt Hancock to discuss the threat of a coronavirus outbreak, although the Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Paul Cosford has said the risk remains low.

Following the Cobra meeting, Prof Cosford said: “We all agree that the risk to the UK public remains low but there may well be cases in the UK at some stage.

“We have tried and tested measures in place to respond. The UK is well prepared for these types of incidents, with excellent readiness against infectious diseases.

“We have global experts monitoring the situation around the clock and have a strong track record of managing new forms of infectious disease.”