UK authorities are working to identify any people the patients came into contact with.
Rabat – The chief medical officer for England, Chris Whitty, announced that health services have diagnosed two people in the UK with the coronavirus (2019 n-Cov) today.
The patients, members of the same family, are receiving treatment from the National Health Service in the northwest of England.
UK authorities did not elaborate on the patients’ identities.
“The patients are receiving specialist NHS care, and we are using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus,” Whitty said in a statement.
Health officials are working to identify any other people the patients may have come into contact with.
“We have been preparing for UK cases of novel coronavirus and we have robust infection control measures in place to respond immediately,” he stated. “We are continuing to work closely with the World Health Organization and the international community as the outbreak in China develops to ensure we are ready for all eventualities.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the new coronavirus a global health emergency on January 30, as the disease continues to spread outside China. The WHO is concerned that the coronavirus could hit countries with weaker health systems.
The epidemic has claimed the lives of at least 213 people in China, mostly in the eastern province of Hubei, the epicenter of the virus. China reported 10,000 cases nationally as of end-Thursday, January 30.
Since the first case came to light in late December, the virus has spread rapidly to 18 countries, with a total of 98 cases reported outside of China.
Morocco’s flag carrier Royal Air Maroc (RAM) temporarily suspended its Casablanca-Beijing direct flight on Thursday. The suspension will run until February 29.
RAM announced that the suspension is due to a “sharp drop” in bookings for flights.
On January 27, King Mohammed VI ordered the repatriation of 100 Moroccan nationals, mostly students, from the city of Wuhan where the virus first broke out after one student sent out a distress call. The health ministry has placed the repatriated Moroccans in isolation for a 20-day period.
The health ministry also implemented a health control plan in all Moroccan international airports to detect infected passengers.