We haven’t seen the peak of coronavirus, warns Health Secretary

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said he expects more cases of coronavirus in the UK.

Speaking before a meeting with German Health Minister Jens Spahn on Tuesday, Mr Hancock said the UK is working with other countries to develop a vaccine.

He added: “We haven’t seen the peak of the coronavirus by a long stretch and we expect more cases in the UK.

Coronavirus
Health Secretary Matt Hancock held talks with German Health Minister Jens Spahn about co-ordinating their response to the coronavirus outbreak (Aaron Chown/PA)

“We have a full plan in place to treat all those who have symptoms and test positively for coronavirus and we are working with international partners both to slow the spread and also to do the research that we need to do to find a vaccine.”

Mr Spahn said that no matter the future relationship between the UK and EU after Brexit, it was important that they co-operate.

He added: “The virus obviously knows no borders and is a threat to all our citizens.

“What’s important for the international community is actually to join forces when it comes to research, when it comes to detecting the virus and combating it.

“Fighting health security threats is a common interest.

“Whatever might happen for the future between the EU and UK, I find it important that there is good co-operation.”

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Spahn said: “Although Brexit is obviously ongoing and the UK has left the EU, I find it very important to have ongoing intense co-operation between the UK and EU, especially on security issues.

“Trade is always in focus, that is important too, but you can see by this health security issue, security issues play an important role for all of us and for that we need deeper co-operation.”

The meeting came the day after health ministers of the G7 group of nations – the US, Germany, Japan, UK, Canada, France and Italy – held a conference call.

Coronavirus: confirmed cases
(PA Graphics)

British officials are trying to trace 239 people who flew from the Chinese city of Wuhan to the UK before travel restrictions associated with the coronavirus came into force.

Efforts to track down and assess the travellers, who left Wuhan after the virus emerged, began last week as the crisis intensified, leading British Airways and Virgin Atlantic to suspend UK-China flights.

A total of 94 UK nationals and family members have been evacuated to Britain from Wuhan, the city in Hubei province at the epicentre of the outbreak, on two flights which arrived on Friday and Sunday.

The evacuees are now undergoing 14 days in quarantine at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral.

The British Embassy in Beijing announced on Monday that the last flights from China to the UK for British nationals were set to leave this week.

The death toll in mainland China from the coronavirus outbreak has risen to 425, with the total number of cases now standing at 20,438, Chinese officials said on Tuesday.

UPDATE on #coronavirus testing in the UK:

As of 2pm on Monday 3 February 2020, a total of 326 tests have concluded:

324 were confirmed negative.2 positive.

Updates will be published at 2pm daily until further notice.

For latest information visit:▶️ https://t.co/CZh5JdyN2Qpic.twitter.com/CjEHY63VZL

— Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) February 3, 2020

The Department of Health said on Monday that 326 UK tests for coronavirus have concluded, of which 324 were negative.

Two people, a University of York student and one of their relatives, continue to be treated for coronavirus in the specialist infectious diseases unit at Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary.

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