First two cases of coronavirus in UK being treated in northern England
The first two cases of coronavirus in the UK are being treated in northern England, according to reports.
Two people have tested positive for the killer bug, the chief medical officer for England has announced.
They are both members of the same family and are receiving specialist NHS care.
No more details are being released about their identity or where they are being treated, but several reports have suggested the cases were found in Newcastle.
At least 213 people in the China have died from the virus, mostly in Hubei, with almost 10,000 cases nationally.
There have been 98 cases of the virus in another 18 countries.
Prof Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England said: "The NHS is extremely well-prepared and used to managing infections and we are already working rapidly to identify any contacts the patients had, to prevent further spread.
"We have been preparing for UK cases of novel coronavirus and we have robust infection control measures in place to respond immediately," he added.
Prof Whitty said the UK was working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international community as the outbreak in China develops "to ensure we are ready for all eventualities".
The WHO declared the outbreak a global emergency yesterday.
At present, 83 Britons and 27 foreign nationals are flying back to the UK from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak.
The UK passengers will then be taken to Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral and quarantined for two weeks.