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UPDATE: Surrey GP “is latest UK coronavirus infection” #COVID19 #coronavirus #UK #Surrey #Doctor #emergency #quarantine #epidemic

Coronavirus Alert

A GP in Surrey is being taken to one of the UK’s six specialist centres for infectious diseases amid fears he is the latest British case of coronavirus, Denis Campbell, the Guardian’s health policy editor, reports.

The development is understood to have triggered an urgent investigation to see if any of his patients have the coronavirus too.

The case – which would be the 20th to emerge in the UK – has prompted particular concern among health officials trying to limit the spread of Covid-19.

The GP would routinely have seen scores of patients over the course of the last week before he became ill in the last 24 hours.

His diagnosis has yet to be publicly confirmed by Public Health England (PHE), NHS England or the Department of Health and Social Care. Public health chiefs are also worried by the unnamed doctor’s diagnosis because his wife is also a GP.

Courtesy of Denis Campbell, health policy editor

Coronavirus: New COVID-19 case in England ‘first to catch within the UK’ #COVID19 #coronavirus #UK #Surrey #emergency #quarantine #epidemic

Coronavirus Alert

A patient diagnosed with coronavirus in England is thought to be the first to have caught the illness within the UK.

Public Health England said the latest case was a resident in Surrey.

Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said the virus had been passed on in the UK, and that it was not clear whether the patient had contracted it directly or indirectly from someone who had recently returned from abroad.

“This is being investigated and contact tracing has begun,” he added.

“The patient has been transferred to a specialist NHS infection centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’.”

The total number of cases in England is now 18, plus one each in Wales and Northern Ireland for a UK total of 20.

Dr Alison Barnett, centre director for PHE South East, said: “Public Health England is contacting people who had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

“One of the latest cases is a resident of Surrey and we’re working closely with NHS colleagues in that area as well as Surrey County Council to manage the situation and help reduce the risk of further cases.”

Courtesy of Sky News

WHO bumps coronavirus threat assessment to ‘very high’ global risk #COVID19 #coronavirus #WHO #VeryHigh #GlobalEmergency #HealthEmergency #quarantine #epidemic

Alert Alert

World Health Organization (WHO) is now worsening its risk assessment of the coronavirus to a “very high” on the global level. The virus has already spread to at least 48 countries besides its hotbed, China.

“We have now increased our assessment of the risk of spread and the risk of impact of COVID-19 to very high at global level,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told media at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva.

As of Friday, 4,351 cases, including 67 deaths, have been registered across 48 countries outside of China. While several nations are experiencing “linked epidemics of COVID-19,” the majority of the coronavirus cases “can still be traced to known contacts or clusters of cases.”

“Since yesterday, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Netherlands and Nigeria have all reported their first cases. All these cases have links to Italy,” Ghebreyesus said.

Italy is experiencing the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe, with the number of registered cases standing at 650 and the death toll at least 20, according to latest official figures. Apart from Italy, South Korea and Iran are experiencing major outbreaks as well.

The latter suspended parliamentary work earlier in the day in a bid to halt the spread of the epidemic. Several high-ranking Iranian officials, including a vice president and Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi, who led the taskforce to tackle the outbreak, have tested positive for the virus.

In China, where nearly 80,000 people contracted the virus and almost three thousand died, the epidemics situation appears to be improving. According to WHO figures, over the past 24 hours Beijing reported ‘only’ 329 new cases, which is the lowest figure in more than a month.

Courtesy of

First British coronavirus death confirmed in Japan #COVID19 #coronavirus #British #Japan #Ship #emergency #epidemic

Coronavirus Alert

A British man who was onboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan has died from the coronavirus, the Japanese health ministry has confirmed.

The first foreign passenger to die, his death brings the toll among passengers from the vessel to six.

A spokeswoman for Princess Cruises, which operates the Diamond Princess, said: “All of us at Princess Cruises, including the crew of the Diamond Princess, offer our sincere condolences to family members and friends for their loss. Our dedicated care team are on hand to provide support.”

Courtesy of