Coronavirus case detected at British doctors' practice, reports BBC
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Coronavirus case detected at British doctors’ practice, reports BBC

BRIGHTON, Monday, February 10, 2020 (Reuters/WNP): A staff member at a British doctors’ practice in the southern English city of Brighton has tested positive for coronavirus, the BBC reported.

The County Oak Medical Centre has been temporarily closed down, the BBC said. It did not cite sources.

Last week, health officials said a case of coronavirus had been identified in Brighton and they were working to prevent any further spread.

A message left at the medical centre’s phone says: “Unfortunately, the building has had to close due to an urgent operational health and safety reason.”

A British man who has not been identified tested positive for coronavirus in Brighton on February 6 after travelling to Singapore. He has since been taken to St Thomas’s Hospital in London.

He stayed in a ski chalet in the French ski resort of Les Contamines-Montjoie where five British nationals and a child have been diagnosed with the virus.

A medical centre in the town of Brackley in central England was also closed for a few hours on Monday, citing a “potential coronavirus incident”. The centre later said it had reopened after being cleaned as a precautionary measure.

WHO team arrives in China

Meanwhile, in China, an advance World Health Organisation (WHO) team of medical experts arrived in China on Monday to help investigate the coronavirus outbreak, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in Geneva.

Tedros, who visited Beijing for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese ministers in late January, returned with an agreement on sending an international mission. It took nearly two weeks to get the green light from the Chinese government on the team, which Tedros said would number between 10 and 15.

There have been 40,235 confirmed cases reported in China and 909 deaths, as well as 319 cases in 24 other countries, including one death, he said.

Tedros voiced concern at incidents, reported by European authorities at the weekend, of person-to-person spread of the virus by people with no history of travel to China.

“In recent days, we have seen some concerning instances of onward transmission from people with no travel history to China, like the cases reported in France yesterday and the United Kingdom today,” he said.

“The detection of this small number of cases could be the spark that becomes a bigger fire. But for now it’s only a spark. Our objective remains containment.”

Tedros urged countries to take public health measures to help “prevent a bigger fire”, adding: “This is a message for the whole world. This is a common enemy that we can only defeat if we do it in unison.”

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