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UK News Coronavirus: two more UK patients test positive - as Saudi Arabia halts pilgrimages

12:41  27 february  2020
12:41  27 february  2020 Source:   inews.co.uk

Coronavirus pandemic not inevitable but looking more likely, expert warns

  Coronavirus pandemic not inevitable but looking more likely, expert warns A global coronavirus pandemic is not inevitable but is looking more likely as the virus continues to spread, a leading expert has said. © Provided by The Scotsman Paul Hunter, professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia (UEA), said the current situation in countries such as South Korea - where more than 600 people have been infected - suggested the world was heading for a pandemic.He said: "It's not inevitable, but I wouldn't bet against it.

New case brings total number of UK case to 15, Department of Health says.

Saudi Arabia temporarily bars entry for pilgrims as coronavirus fears escalate. Earlier this week, Iran's Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi tested positive for the coronavirus , following an appearance on state television where he looked visibly feverish and coughed into a tissue several times.

a group of people sitting at a table with an umbrella © Provided by The i

Two more people have tested positive for coronavirus in England, officials have announced. The two patients have been transferred to specialist NHS infection centres after contracting the virus in Italy and Tenerife, according to England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty.

The new cases bring the total number of people diagnosed with Covid-19 in the UK to 15, eight of whom have since been discharged from hospital.

Dr Tom Wingfield, from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, said: "There are likely to be some more cases in the coming weeks but the UK public can be reassured that we have experienced teams in place to manage the isolation and care of people diagnosed with coronavirus and perform robust tracing and screening of their contacts.

Saudi Arabia announces sporting mega-event

  Saudi Arabia announces sporting mega-event Saudi Arabia said Wednesday it will hold its biggest sporting event next month, with 6,000 athletes expected to participate, the latest extravaganza in a push to soften its ultra-conservative image. The "Saudi Games" will be held in Riyadh between March 23 and April 1 and will feature 40 sports -- including swimming, athletics, archery, badminton and basketball -- that will be open to men and women, officials said."I (am) proud to launch the biggest sporting event in the kingdom's history," said the Saudi sports minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki.

Saudi Arabia has halted the entry of Muslim pilgrims seeking to worship at the holy cities of Mecca and Medina as the kingdom attempts to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus . The Saudi government was “suspending entry to the kingdom for the purpose of umrah and visiting the

Saudi Arabia has imposed a temporary ban on religious pilgrimage , known as Umrah, to historic Islamic shrines in Mecca and Medina over the coronavirus outbreak that has recently spread to the Middle East.

a group of people walking in front of Milan Cathedral © Provided by The i

"These teams, including those at Public Health England (PHE) and the infectious disease teams in Liverpool, London, Sheffield, Newcastle, and elsewhere in the UK are working hard behind the scenes to protect the UK public."

The two new cases were confirmed after parents of pupils at Burbage Primary School in Buxton, Derbyshire, were told the school would be closed on Thursday due to a "confirmed case of coronavirus amongst our parent population".

Burbage Primary School, in Buxton, which has 350 pupils, sent a message to parents via WhatsApp on Wednesday night saying the decision had been taken as a "precautionary measure and to enable a deep clean to be completed".

People wearing a protective facemask walk across the Piazza del Duomo, in front of the Duomo, in central Milan (Photo: Getty)

Iran's vice president has COVID-19 as 26 are killed by virus

  Iran's vice president has COVID-19 as 26 are killed by virus A vice president of Iran, Masoumeh Ebtekar, has the new coronavirus, a state-owned newspaper says. © Getty Masoumeh Ebtekar is the vice president for women and family affairs She is the VP for women and family affairs. Her symptoms are said to be mild and she has not been admitted to hospital.Ms Ebtekar is also known as the English-language spokeswoman "Mary" for the 1979 hostage-takers who seized the US embassy in Tehran and sparked a 444-day diplomatic crisis.

Saudi Arabia has banned religious pilgrims and foreigners from entering the country over coronavirus outbreak fears. The country’s decision comes just months before the annual hajj pilgrimage and after 220 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 illness have been recorded in the Middle

Saudi Arabia on Thursday suspended foreigners' entry for the Umrah pilgrimage and tourism from countries where the new coronavirus has spread, as a REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri. The kingdom , which hosts the two holiest sites of Islam in Mecca and Medina, welcomes millions of Muslim visitors

Across the UK, at least eight schools have closed while others - including Prince George's - have sent pupils home amid fears they may have been exposed to coronavirus during half-term trips to northern Italy. But Public Health England (PHE) said that its general advice is not to close schools - a message echoed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock who warned against the country overreacting.

Travellers returning to the UK from northern Italy were told they may need to self-isolate as part of measures to stop the spread of illness. Authorities in Italy have reported that the number of people infected in the country grew to 447 and 12 people have died.

Meanwhile, 168 Britons have been told to isolate themselves at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace in Tenerife. Some 700 guests in total are staying at the hotel. Officials denied there were any plans to evacuate the Britons at the hotel in Tenerife, instead arranging for written messages to be put under the doors of the rooms of British guests asking them to get in contact.

Northern Ireland confirms first case of coronavirus

  Northern Ireland confirms first case of coronavirus Northern Ireland has confirmed its first case of the coronavirus, its Public Health Agency has said. © Other American researchers have produced up-close images of the 2019 coronavirus. Pic: NIAID-RML Health officials said the person travelled there from northern Italy via Dublin and is being treated in a specialist unit.Northern Ireland's Public Health Agency announced the case at a briefing in Belfast and said it was "working rapidly" to identify anyone the patient came into contact with to prevent a further spread.

Saudi Arabia on Thursday halted travel to the holiest sites in Islam over coronavirus fears just months ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage , as the Middle The decision indicated the level of concern about the outbreak potentially spreading into Saudi Arabia , whose oil-rich monarchy stakes its legitimacy on

The number of people infected by the coronavirus in the UK has doubled to eight - after four more patients tested positive for the virus. It comes as the government issued new powers in England to keep people in quarantine to stop the virus spreading.

Hajj pilgrimage

Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia has barred foreigners from entering the country - including those coming to visit the holiest sites in Islam - following fears about the spread of coronavirus. The country's decision comes months before the annual hajj pilgrimage and after 220 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 illness have been recorded in the Middle East.

The decision stops foreigners from reaching the holy city of Mecca and the Kaaba, the cube-shaped structure the world's 1.8 billion Muslims pray toward five times a day. Fears over the outbreak potentially spreading into Saudi Arabia appear to have prompted the decision, with the country's oil-rich monarchy staking its legitimacy on protecting Islam's holy sites.

The centre of the outbreak in Iran, the most-affected country in the Middle East, appears to be in the holy Shiite city of Qom, where a shrine there sees the faithful reach out to kiss and touch it in reverence.

"Saudi Arabia renews its support for all international measures to limit the spread of this virus, and urges its citizens to exercise caution before travelling to countries experiencing coronavirus outbreaks," the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement announcing the decision.

Almost 700 coronavirus tests carried out in Scotland

  Almost 700 coronavirus tests carried out in Scotland The Scottish Government says it is well-prepared to deal with a potential outbreak. Health officials in Scotland are to begin testing some people with flu-like symptoms for the virus even if they have not visited affected areas.Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood said: “Scotland is well-prepared for a significant outbreak of coronavirus but there is currently no treatment or vaccine. Early detection measures will be vital in helping to prevent the spread of the virus in the event of an outbreak.

"We ask God Almighty to spare all humanity from all harm."

Epidemic response

Governments ramped up measures on Thursday to battle a looming global pandemic of the coronavirus as the number of infections outside China, the source of the outbreak, for the first time surpassed those appearing inside the country.

Australia initiated emergency measures and Taiwan raised its epidemic response level to its highest, a day after Donald Trump put his vice president, Mike Pence, in charge of the US response to the looming global health crisis.

The United States and South Korea postponed joint military drills to limit the spread of the virus, which has emerged far beyond China, where it originated late last year, apparently in a market selling wildlife in the city of Wuhan.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his country, which has 23 cases of the virus, was operating on the basis of a pandemic and hospitals were under orders to ensure enough medical supplies, personal protective equipment and staff.

"There is every indication that the world will soon enter a pandemic phase of the coronavirus," Morrison told a news conference in Canberra. "As a result we have agreed today and initiated the ... coronavirus emergency response plan."

Stocks sunk deeper into the red, oil prices fell and US treasuries rallied into record territory as more signs of the global spread of the virus heightened fears of a pandemic. Global markets have dropped for six straight days, wiping out more than $3.6 trillion in value.

Pence says 21 people on cruise ship off California have coronavirus .
Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that 21 individuals on a cruise ship off the coast of California tested positive for the coronavirus and that the Trump administration would bring the passengers stateside. JUST IN: 21 individuals on Grand Princess cruise ship test positive for coronavirus, @VP Mike Pence says -- 19 crewmembers and 2 passengers https://t.co/KK5J1KHvMd pic.twitter.com/7eTjDQxOHx- CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) March 6, 2020"We have developed a plan that will be implemented over this weekend," Pence said at a White House briefing.

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