The British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has said on Monday they are working to get Brits out of the coronavirus affected Hubei province in China.
The FCO said, “We are working to make available an option for British nationals to leave Hubei province.
“We continue to monitor developments closely and are in close touch with the Chinese authorities.
“The safety and security of British nationals is always our primary concern.
“Please continue to check our travel advice on gov.uk for updates. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/china.”
The British prime minister told reporters on Monday, “We are looking at everything we can to give reassurance to those people in Wuhan and you will be hearing a bit more in due course but I don’t want to pre-empt the decisions we are going to make.”
Boris Johnson said travellers arriving in the UK willbe “properly screened and checked if they have come from an area that is known to have the infection.”
“So far there is still no case of somebody with coronavirus here in the UK but clearly there are a lot of cases in China and it is spreading,” he said.
The former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt suggested that airlifts in China fir UK citizens could happen.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Hunt was asked if he supports Britons flying back from China.
Hunt said, “I think I would be very sympathetic and I’m sure the Foreign Office would be too.”
He warned coronavirus could place a strain on the NHS, but the health service are ready and are equipped to deal with patients.
He added, “This is a very difficult time of year for the NHS – it is the most difficult time.
“But, again, my experience is that the NHS does know how to cope with these kinds of emergencies.”
In an interview with Sky News Dr Yvonne Doyle, the medical director of health protection for Public Health England (PHE) said it is likely that UK’s first case of coronavirus is likely to come from someone who is already in the UK.
She said in her Sky News interview, “Our view is that, although airports are important, the most likely place that we might find a case is somebody in the country already, and it’s absolutely critical that the public health service and the NHS are ready to diagnose that and are able to designate the person to the right facilities.
“That’s the most likely scenario we are dealing with.”
When asked by Sky’s Kay Burley if she was alarmed about a UK case, Dr Doyle said, “I think, with infections, health is global.
“We’ve been here before, we’ve dealt with Middle Eastern virus, we’ve dealt with Sars, we deal with flu regularly, which can be dangerous, but we’re ready.”
She said that efforts are continuing to find the 2,000 people who entered the UK from China.
She said. “We are now looking back to see whether any of them are still in the country, because some of them will have returned to China, but there are moves to identify them.
“It’s not always possible to find everybody but we are working to our best endeavours.”