The health secretary Matt Hancock has announced in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon that as of 9am today, the confirmed number of coronavirus cases has now risen to 51.
Hancock told the Commons the threat of coronavirus in the UK is “increasingly serious” as twelve more people have been diagnosed.
The health secretary said, “The situation facing the country is increasingly serious. Globally and at home the number of cases continues to rise.
“As of 9am today there were 51 confirmed cases in the UK and it’s becoming more likely that we will see widespread transmission here in this country.”
He added: “Contain is about detecting the early cases, following up with close contacts, preventing the disease from taking hold in this country for as long as reasonably possible.
“This approach also buys time for the NHS to ramp up its preparations.
“If the number of global cases continues to rise, especially in Europe, the scientific advice is that we may not be able to contain this virus indefinitely.”
Following an emergency COBRA meeting on Monday, the prime minister said it is “highly likely” coronavirus will spread across the UK.
There are now more than 90,000 cases of coronavirus around the world, with more than 3,000 deaths.