Four more people diagnosed with coronavirus in UK

Four more people in the UK have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases to eight.

It comes as the government announced new powers to keep people in quarantine to stop the spread of the virus.

In order to do this, the Department of Health has described the coronavirus as a “serious and imminent threat” to public health. The overall risk level to the UK remains “moderate”.

There have been more than 40,000 cases of the virus globally, mostly in China.

The total number of deaths in China is now 908 – but the number of newly-infected people per day has stabilised.

A Department of Health spokesman said: “We are strengthening our regulations so we can keep individuals in supported isolation for their own safety and if public health professionals consider they may be at risk of spreading the virus to other members of the public.

“This measure will rightly make it easier for health professionals to help keep people safe across the country.”

On Sunday, around 200 British and foreign nationals arrived on the second and final flight chartered to the UK from Wuhan by the Foreign Office. Evacuees were taken to a Milton Keynes conference centre for 14 days of quarantine.

Meanwhile, a fourth person was diagnosed with coronavirus in the UK on Sunday, having caught the virus in France.

A statement on the Department of Health website said: “In accordance with Regulation 3, the Secretary of State declares that the incidence or transmission of novel coronavirus constitutes a serious and imminent threat to public health, and the measures outlined in these regulations are considered as an effective means of delaying or preventing further transmission of the virus.”

Confirming the fourth UK case on Sunday, chief medical officer for England Prof Chris Whitty said the patient, who is being treated at the Royal Free Hospital in London, is “a known contact of a previously confirmed UK case, and the virus was passed on in France”.

The third UK case is a British man who caught coronavirus in Singapore and was transferred to St Thomas’ Hospital in London on Thursday, from Brighton.

Five British nationals who have tested positive in France were diagnosed after they came into contact with him, according to the French health ministry.

Meanwhile, a British man in Majorca has also been diagnosed with coronavirus, while his wife and two daughters tested negative.

The family said they had been in contact with a person who tested positive for coronavirus in France, the government in the Balearic Islands said.

The new virus was first reported in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. The city of 11 million has been in lockdown for weeks.

The outbreak was declared a global emergency by the WHO on 30 January.

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