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All Brits still in China told to leave due to coronavirus which has killed 425 people
4 February 2020, 15:46
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has urged all British nationals in China to leave due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Raab said the decision was made to "minimise their risk of exposure to the virus".
He said: "The safety and security of British people will always be our top priority.
"As such, we now advise British nationals in China to leave the country if they can, to minimise their risk of exposure to the virus.
"Where there are still British nationals in Hubei province who wish to be evacuated, we will continue to work around the clock to facilitate this."
It comes after the number of deaths from the virus reached 425 on Tuesday morning, and confirmed cases surpassed 20,000.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock later warned the UK had not seen the peak of the illness "by a long stretch".
He said: "We expect more cases in the UK.
"We have a full plan in place to treat all those who have symptoms and test positively for coronavirus and we are working with international partners both to slow the spread and also to do the research that we ned to do to find a vaccine."
So far, 94 British citizens have been repatriated from Wuhan - the epicentre of the outbreak - and are currently being held in quarantine at Arrowe Park Hospital in the Wirral.
According to the British Embassy in Beijing, the final evacuation flights for British nationals were expected to leave later this week.
Meanwhile, 14 seats have been allocated on an Air New Zealand flight leaving China later today.
Authorities in the UK are also still working to track down 239 nationals who had flown back from Wuhan before travel restrictions were put in place.
Two people - one of whom is a University of York student - are currently being treated for the virus at Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary.