London, Jan 24 (IANS) Fourteen people in the UK have been tested for the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), with five confirmed negative and nine still awaiting the results, according to the Public Health England (PHE).
The PHE made the announcement on Thursday but it did not give a breakdown of where the people were tested and where the negative results were recorded, reports metro.co.uk.
However, the number is believed to include five people who had undergone tests for the virus in Scotland.
A statement from the Scottish government on Thursday said: “Following travel to Wuhan, China, two people confirmed as diagnosed with influenza are now being tested for Wuhan novel coronavirus as a precautionary measure only.
“Three further people are also undergoing testing on a similar precautionary basis. ‘There are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and the risk to the Scottish public remains low.”
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the tests were “purely precautionary”.
On Friday, Chinese authorities confirmed 830 new cases, with 25 fatalities so far.
Outside of China, two of the four cases diagnosed in Thailand have been cured. There are also two cases in Japan, and one case each in the US and Singapore, while South Korea Seoul confirmed a second case of the infection, reports Efe news.
Taiwan also has a case, although Chinese authorities consider Taiwan a province of China and therefore include it in the national count.
The symptoms of the new coronavirus, called 2019-nCoV provisionally by the World Health Organization (WHO), are in many cases similar to those of a cold, but may be accompanied by fever and fatigue, dry cough and dyspnea (shortness of breath).
For its part, the WHO on Thursday decided against declaring an international emergency, although it asked China to increase surveillance in an epidemic that poses a “very high” risk nationally and internationally.