The UK health secretary, Matt Hancock has said that there is an “increased likelihood that cases” of coronavirus “may arise in” in the UK.
Whilst there are no known confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK the NHS and the country are “well prepared and well equipped to deal with them” Hancock told parliament on Thursday morning.
Thus far there are more than 600 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 25 are confirmed dead in China.
In a statement to the House of Commons the heath secretary said, the virus is a “rapidly developing situation and the number of deaths and the number of cases is likely to be higher than those that have been confirmed so far and I expect them to rise further.”
Hancock told MPs, “The chief medical officer has revised the risk to the UK population from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ and has concluded that while there is an increased likelihood that cases may arise in this country, we are well prepared and well equipped to deal with them.”
He added, “The UK is one of the first countries to have developed a world-leading test for the new coronavirus.
“The NHS is ready to respond appropriately to any cases that emerge.”