The United Kingdom has recorded the first case of coronavirus, as a new case was diagnosed in London, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to nine.
According to the report by Evening Standard, the diagnosed patient, understood to be a woman, contracted the illness in China but was diagnosed after flying into a London airport, making it the first instance of coronavirus in the capital.
She is now being treated at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital in London.
Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty confirmed the most recent case of the virus, also known as Covid-19 , in a statement on Wednesday evening.
He said: “One further patient in England has tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total number of cases in the UK to nine.
“This virus was passed on in China and the patient has now been transferred to a specialist NHS centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ in London.”
As with the previously confirmed cases, officials are working to identify contacts the latest patient had.
The latest case comes as the quarantine of 83 people being held in Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral, Merseyside, is expected to be lifted on Thursday amid reports they have all tested negative for the covid-19 strain of the coronavirus.
All of those in quarantine were flown back from China and taken directly to the hospital after arriving in the UK on January 31.
A government spokesman said the “quarantine is expected to end tomorrow” but declined to comment on the test results of the patients.
Earlier today, Steve Walsh, the businessman at the centre of the UK outbreak of coronavirus said he was “happy to be home” after being discharged from hospital.
Mr Walsh, a 53-year-old scout leader from Hove in East Sussex, had been treated at the specialist infectious diseases unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London but has now been given the all-clear.
He is thought to have contracted coronavirus on a business trip to Singapore , before he stopped off at a ski region in France, where five other Britons were subsequently infected with coronavirus.
Mr Walsh is also linked to five other people diagnosed with it in the UK, as well as with a Briton taken ill in Majorca , taking the number of confirmed cases linked to him to 11.
Two of the nine confirmed cases in the UK involve GPs . Officials know that the pair worked at a nursing home, Worthing Hospital A&E and two GP practices between them.
Tim Loughton, Conservative MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, said on Wednesday that a number of GPs from Brighton were among those staying in the French ski chalet with Mr Walsh.
He said one of those completed a locum shift at Worthing A&E last week and, as a precaution, the hospital has now “sent home for self-isolation a number of their staff from various departments of the hospital”.
As a result, the hospital is experiencing some staff shortages, he said.
Earlier today, a senior health official warned more UK cases were “highly likely”. Prof Paul Cosford, from Public Health England, told the BBC his teams were doing their best to contain the spread, the Evening Standard added.