Scientists have discovered London is city in Europe most ‘at risk’ of seeing cases of coronavirus. Academics at the University of Southampton mapped the travel of people from 18 infected cities in China – including the believed outbreak city of Wuhan – over a three-month period around Chinese New Year in 2018.
They used that travel data to determine where those travelling from infected cities are most likely to end up. Using travel records as well as anonymised IP addresses on smartphones, they found that one in 100 people leaving the most dangerous cities in China eventually went to London.
The British capital was the only European city to enter the world’s top 20 most ‘at-risk’ cities, ranking at number 19. Paris was 27th on the list, and Frankfurt was 30th – despite cases having been confirmed in France and Germany already.
So far, more than 100 people in the UK have been tested for coronavirus with all tests coming back negative. The director of Public Health England has however warned cases of the virus could already have entered Britain.
The government warned UK residents against travelling to mainland China in a bid to stop the virus from spreading. The Foreign Office updated its travel guidance to urge against all but essential travel to the country. The warning came as Britons in the province of Hubei said they were told they could be flown home as early as Thursday.
Those stuck in the central city of Wuhan – Hubei’s capital – have been urged to contact the British consulate before 11am today if they wish to fly home. The British embassy in Beijing has said transport to get UK citizens out ‘may happen quickly and with short notice’. So far, the virus has spread to some 17 countries or territories outside of mainland China and experts have said they expect the global spread to continue.
The death toll in mainland China following the outbreak of coronavirus has risen to 132 while nearly 6,000 people are infected, authorities have said. There were 26 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours, with all but one recorded in Hubei province. Four hospitals are being built in super-quick time in China, using pre-fabricated buildings and modelled on a medical centre built in Beijing in 2003 in seven days to tackle SARS