UK public health officials are searching for 2,000 people who flew from Wuhan after coronavirus reached Europe, Business Insider

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Health officers screen arriving passengers from China with thermal scanners at Changi International airport in Singapore on January 22, 2020 as authorities increased measure against coronavirus.
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ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images
  • Public health officials are tracking 2,000 people who flew from Wuhan, central China, into the United Kingdom as authorities rush to contain the coronavirus.
  • More than 30 people were reportedly tested by English public health authorities after the virus was confirmed in nearby Europe, and all were confirmed as negative for the virus.
  • Novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, has killed 41 near the Chinese province marked as the epicenter of the outbreak, sickened nearly 1,300, and spread to 12 countries.
  • Travel is at the center of efforts by public health authorities to contain the disease, as scientists discovered that humans can transmit the virus to one other.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Public health officials in the United Kingdom are reportedly searching for 2,000 people who flew in from Wuhan, China within the last two weeks as the coronavirus spread around the world.

Authorities are working with the country’s Border Force to track passengers who could have been infected with the disease but not been showing symptoms at the time of their trip, according to The Telegraph.

Service from the city in central China is currently suspended, but the Telegraph reported that authorities announced a group of seven clinicians will be stationed at London’s Heathrow Airport to monitor incoming passengers from other parts of China.

England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty announced on Friday that 14 people who were tracked down by officials were given the all-clear on Thursday, but officials were continuing monitoring other possible patients.

By Saturday, more than 30 people were tested by the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England announced, all of which were confirmed as negative for the virus, according to The Guardian.

Within two weeks after it was first detected, novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, has killed 41 near the Chinese province marked as the epicenter of the outbreak, sickened nearly 1,300, and spread to 12 countries.

On Friday night, three patients were identified in France as the first cases of the virus confirmed in Europe. Other countries outside China that have confirmed cases of the disease include the US, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, and Nepal.

Travel is at the center of efforts by public health authorities to contain the virus, as scientists discovered that humans can transmit it to one another. The contagious nature of the virus presents special concerns for authorities within China as the outbreak comes as millions of people are expected to travel to and within the country for the Lunar New Year celebration.

In a move that could reduce pressure on foreign governments to screen Chinese visitors, the New York Times reported that the country announced Saturday that beginning Monday, it would suspend all tour groups headed overseas.

Travelers in groups who were already abroad will be allowed to finish their trips, but authorities said tour agencies should closely monitor travelers for possible symptoms.

Read more:

Photos show how China is grappling with the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak as 12 cities are quarantined and hospitals run out of space

Chinese people are turning on the government as the coronavirus outbreak spirals into the Lunar New Year

Hospital staff in Wuhan are wearing adult diapers because they don’t have time to pee while caring for an overwhelming number of coronavirus patients

The Wuhan coronavirus has spread to 10 countries. Here’s how to protect yourself while traveling.

Face masks aren’t a very effective way to prevent the spread of coronavirus, experts say, despite spiking sales



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