The tally of UK coronavirus cases has reached eight, the authorities confirmed this morning, with several of those being treated at Guy’s and St Thomas’.
It comes after the Department of Health declared a “serious and imminent threat” to public health from the virus.
The status means that those thought to have the virus can be kept in quarantine for longer.
However, Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said that the NHS “is extremely well prepared to manage these cases and treat them.”
“Four further patients in England have tested positive for novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to eight.
“The new cases are all known contacts of a previously confirmed UK case, and the virus was passed on in France.
“Experts at Public Health England continue to work hard tracing patient contacts from the UK cases. They successfully identified these individuals and ensured the appropriate support was provided.
“The patients have been transferred to specialist NHS centres at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and The Royal Free hospitals, and we are now using robust infection control measures to prevent further spread of the virus.”
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust is one of two specialist centres in London for treating conditions like the coronavirus.
As the News has reported, Trust officials have previously declared that it is prepared for cases of coronavirus.
Separately this morning, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has designated Arrowe Park Hospital, on the Wirral, and Kents Hill Park conference centre, in Milton Keynes, as “isolation centres.”
The latest information and advice on coronavirus can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public.