UNITED KINGDOM: A case of the coronavirus has been recorded in London for the first time.
The person is a Chinese national who was diagnosed this afternoon. She is believed to be on her way to the hospital where she will receive medical attention. Experts have previously warned that London is at greater risk than other cities in Europe due to its large population and admiration by tourists. It is estimated that around 142,000 travel from China to the capital between January and March every year.
The new case in London means there are nine people in the UK infected with the coronavirus, while more than 1,750 have been tested. Chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, said today: ‘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.’ An associate professor in mathematical epidemiology at the University of Warwick said there is not enough evidence to suggest the London patient could have infected anyone else.
Dr Michael Tildesley continued: ‘They always remain the risk of introduction of cases into the UK from international travellers and it is difficult to predict where future introductions may occur.
‘So it’s not surprising that there is a case in London since it is the main UK hub for international travellers. ‘
What needs to be done at this stage is to carry out contact tracing, in a similar way that has been done for other cases, in order to detect any contacts as rapidly as possible and if they show symptoms of the disease, follow the necessary protocols to minimise the risk of them causing further infections.’
Most UK cases of coronavirus are being treated at London hospitals such as the Royal Free, in Camden, or Guy’s and St Thomas’, in Southwark.
Earlier today it was revealed that the so-called ‘super-spreader’, who infected 11 people with the virus, is no longer contagious. Steve Walsh, 53, first caught the coronavirus during a conference in Singapore but flew to France without showing any symptoms.
There, he is believed to have infected five Brits who he stayed within a ski chalet, before returning to the UK, where he has been linked to another five cases of the virus. Two of the cases in the UK included doctors, who one of whom worked at a Brighton GP surgery which has since been temporarily closed.
Mr Walsh is also thought to be linked to one case of a male patient who was taken ill in Majorca. NHS strategic incident director, Professor Keith Willett said today that Mr Walsh had come up ‘negative’ during two tests for coronavirus, 24 hours apart. He continued: ‘Mr Walsh has been discharged from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, has made a full recovery following his treatment.
‘Mr Walsh’s symptoms were mild and he is no longer contagious and poses no risk to the public.’
This evening the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that they would be doing further investigations into the origins of the coronavirus, now named Covid-19.
Director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom stated that there will be an examination of how the transmission of conditions from animals to humans can also be prevented. The coronavirus is largely believed to have started on a seafood market in Wuhan, China.
So far, more than 1,100 people have died from the virus, while more than 45,000 people have been infected worldwide.