Two new cases of coronavirus in UK, as new surveillance system announced

Two further patients in England have tested positive for COVID-19, which brings the total number cases in the UK to 15, after the virus was passed on in Italy and Tenerife. This as Public Health England and the NHS announce that they have established a new surveillance system to detect cases of COVID-19, to strengthen existing systems and to prepare for and prevent wider transmission of the virus.

Whilst the virus has begun to transmit beyond China, there is no current evidence to show that it is circulating in the community in England.

Professor Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director, Public Health England, said: “We have taken a belt and braces approach throughout this outbreak. This new system is another important way we can help limit the impact of COVID-19 in the UK, as we continue to ensure we have the best possible intelligence to protect the public’s health.

“There is no change in risk for the public but taking this preparatory step now will enable us to better detect and contain the spread of the virus. The UK’s infection control procedures are world-leading, and the system we are announcing today further strengthens our response.”

Official World Health Organisation data from the 25th February, reports 81,109 laboratory-confirmed cases of the virus globally, of which 871 were confirmed in the last 24 hours, with – for the first time – only the minority from China.

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