24/01/2020 15:14 GMT | Updated 24/01/2020 20:30 GMT

Coronavirus: Tests On All 14 UK Suspected Cases Are Clear

Checks are ongoing on other people.

All 14 people tested for coronavirus in the UK have been given the all-clear but checks are ongoing on other people, the chief medical officer for England has said.

Professor Chris Whitty spoke following a meeting of the government’s Cobra emergency committee in Whitehall, chaired by health secretary Matt Hancock.

But two cases have been confirmed in France, the first to be reported in Europe.

All the people tested in the UK had visited Wuhan – the Chinese city where the outbreak originated.

Four out of the five patients tested in Scotland were Chinese nationals.

One of those cleared in the UK was Michael Hope, 45, who spent two days in quarantine this week after returning to Newcastle from Wuhan.

The two confirmed cases in France were announced by the health minister Agnes Buzyn who said both of the sickened people had travelled to China.

The minister said she expects more cases.

Public Health England (PHE) is not advising people to use face masks at the moment, but is monitoring developments carefully.

If a GP suspects a patient has coronavirus, they should be placed in a room away from other patients and staff with the door closed, the PHE guidance states.

They should not be allowed to use communal toilet facilities or be physically examined, it adds.

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A letter from the chief medical officer to clinical staff said anyone who is confirmed as having the virus will be transferred to an airborne high consequences infectious disease centre (HCID).

There are four interim airborne HCID centres in England – two in London, one in Liverpool and one in Newcastle.

Meanwhile, the official death toll in China has risen to 26 with more than 830 confirmed cases.

The Chinese city of Wuhan is rapidly building a new 1,000-bed hospital to treat victims of a new coronavirus, while Disneyland Shanghai and parts of the Great Wall of China have been closed to visitors.

Reuters reported that hospitals in Wuhan are struggling to cope due to medical shortages.

Almost 30m people and 10 cities in China are now facing travel restrictions.

The UK is monitoring direct flights arriving into the UK from China as a precaution.

Passengers are receiving leaflets and advice on what to do if they develop symptoms, and a PHE health team is on stand-by at Heathrow.