More Brits due back in UK from coronavirus-hit China and set for quarantine

Eleven more Britons are due back in the UK from epidemic hit China tonight on their way to 14 days of isolation.

The UK nationals hitched a ride on a French government flight which landed first in Marseilles before flying onto RAF Brize Norton.

They will be joining 83 UK nationals who are in quarantine close to Arrow Park Hospital on Merseyside.

It came as Thai doctors say the use of anti-flu and AIDS drugs has been a success in treating coronavirus patients after using them on a Chinese woman with severe symptoms.

Two doctors from Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok said at a briefing in Bangkok that improvements were seen in the 71-year-old woman 48 hours after administering the two groups of medications.


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After finding she had severe symptoms, the doctors decided to use oseltamivir, an anti-flu drug used to treat the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS), as well as lopinavir and ritonavir, two AIDS drugs.

They said after 48 hours of treatment the woman had recovered and tested negative for the disease.

In the Philippines a 44-year-old man became the first person to die from the virus outside China.



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Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said of the the latest evacuess: “They will go to the Arrowe Park facility and all of the protections, the support during the 14-day period, will be put in place.

"So they will be treated very well, and of course the reason we need to do that is on the one hand we want to get the UK nationals that want to leave China out, on the other hand we need to make sure we control and prevent the spread of the coronavirus because of the implications that that would have.”

The Government believe there may be around 30,000 British citizens in China.

“We’ll do everything we can to make sure that those that still want to leave, give them the opportunity to do so,” the Foreign Secretary added.

The latest repatriation comes as the Government launched a public health campaign advising people how to slow the spread of the virus.

The number of coronavirus tests that have come back negative in the UK is now 264, the Department of Health said.


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In Dublin a Chinese passenger displaying “Coronavirus-like symptoms” was reportedly led off a flight arriving into Dublin Airport by medics in protective suits.

Six ambulances were also put in place prior to the plane’s landing.

A major medical response team was put in place after an individual on board a flight arriving in the Irish capital was found to be displaying “flu-like symptoms” on a flight from Moscow.

The person displaying the symptoms was transported to a nearby isolation ward at Mater Hospital which was previously setup following the Ebola Crisis.

All of the remaining passengers on the flight were held at the airport for around an hour and advised to avoid contact with other people for at least 24 hours and contact the authorities in the event that they begin to display any symptoms of the virus.


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On Sunday a new government health campaign advised using tissues to catch a cough or sneeze, and that washing your hands regularly are key to helping slow the spread of coronavirus.

Adverts telling people what they can do to help protect themselves are appeared on social media, in newspapers and on the radio.

The UK-wide ads warn people to always carry tissues and use them when coughing or sneezing, bin the tissue, and wash their hands with soap and water or use sanitiser gel.

The NHS and Government-branded advice will also be targeted at outlets and online forums Chinese nationals in the UK are known to read and listen to.

Last week, the risk level of the illness in the UK was raised from low to moderate and the World Health Organisation declared an international public health emergency.

The Department of Health said anyone who has travelled to the UK from Hubei province within the last 14 days should stay indoors and avoid contact with others as well as letting NHS line 111 know of their recent travel.

Anyone who has come from anywhere else in China, not including Macao or Hong Kong, in the same timeframe and who develops symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath should self-isolate and call 111.

The death toll has risen to 304 people with a worldwide total of 14,380 cases.

The vast majority of the cases are inside China; about 100 cases have been confirmed in at least 23 other countries.

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