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Coronavirus in China

22 January 2020 09:21

We have had several enquiries about the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

The facts:

  • The World Health Organisation was alerted to a new cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan City at the end of December
  • The outbreak has been linked to a fish market in Wuhan and Chinese authorities later identified Novel Coronavirus as the causative virus
  • So far there have been close to 300 cases and 6 deaths
  • There have been confirmed cases of the virus in ex-Wuhan visitors in Thailand, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan
  • Passenger screening is in place for passengers travelling from Wuhan to Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Italy and the US
  • Currently the UK is not screening passengers arriving from Wuhan, but this is likely to change should the virus spread
  • With Chinese New Year this weekend, heavy population movements increase the risk of transmission outside of Wuhan

The World Health Organisation, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The UK National Travel Health Network & Centre and the European Centre for Disease Prevention are not advising any travel or trade restrictions as a result of the outbreak at this time, although this could change at short notice. The outbreak remains an evolving, dynamic situation and is being continuously monitored.

The World Health Organisation are due to hold a meeting today (22nd January) to determine the next course of action, and whether the outbreak constitutes an international public health emergency. If this is declared, travel restriction advisories will likely be implemented.

Please check Public Health England for further advice.

In the meantime, if you are due to travel to China and are concerned, please check with your airline for their change and cancellation policies.

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