Two new UK coronavirus cases linked to Italy, Tenerife

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Two more patients have tested positive for coronavirus in Britain, health authorities said Thursday, bringing the total number of diagnosed cases in the UK to 15.

The two have been transferred to specialist infection centres after contracting the virus in Italy and on the Spanish island of Tenerife, said Professor Chris Whitty, England's chief medical officer.

The patients are in hospitals in London and in Liverpool in northwest England.

Doctor Tom Wingfield, senior clinical lecturer at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, said the two new infections were "not surprising".

They "do not change the understanding of what the outbreak will look like in the UK," the expert said.

"There are likely to be some more cases in the coming weeks but the UK public can be reassured that we have experienced teams in place to manage the isolation and care of people diagnosed with and perform robust tracing and screening of their contacts."

The novel coronavirus has killed over 2,700 people and infected more than 80,000 in 34 countries, although the vast majority of cases remain in China, according to the World Health Organization.

New cases have emerged across Europe, many linked to the continent's coronavirus hotspot in northern Italy, amid warnings from health experts to rein in hysteria as the virus continues its march beyond China's borders.

Some 168 Britons have been told to isolate themselves at a hotel in Tenerife.

© 2020 AFP

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