Coronavirus: 200 passengers quarantined after last evacuation flight lands in UK

9 February 2020, 08:09

By Megan White

The final evacuation flight carrying British citizens from the coronavirus-hit city of Wuhan has landed in Oxfordshire.

The flight, with more than 200 people on board, arrived at RAF Brize Norton shortly before 7.30am on Sunday.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was the second and final flight to be chartered by the Government and has British Government staff and military medics on board.

A fourth case was confirmed in Britain on Sunday, with the patient transferred to a specialist NHS centre at The Royal Free Hospital in north London.

The new case is a known contact of a previously confirmed UK case, and the virus was passed on in France.

Ambulances wait for passengers at RAF Brize Norton
Ambulances wait for passengers at RAF Brize Norton. Picture: PA

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the repatriation flight had brought back 105 British nationals and family members, as well as 95 European nationals and family members.

A total of 13 staff and medics were also on board.

The passengers will now be taken to the Kents Hill Park hotel and conference centre in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, where they will be quarantined for 14 days.

The first group of Britons who returned on a flight last month are continuing their quarantine at Arrowe Park Hospital, Merseyside.

The death toll in China from the coronavirus has risen to 811, with the total number of cases passing 37,000.

Outside China there are 288 cases in 24 countries, with one death, according to the World Health Organisation.

Meanwhile, five Britons have tested positive for coronavirus in France.

The four adults and a nine-year-old child were diagnosed after they came into contact with a British national who had recently returned from Singapore, the French health ministry said.

The five British nationals, who are not in a serious condition, were staying in the Alpine resort area of Contamines-Montjoie near Mont Blanc.

French officials said the British national who was in Singapore returned on January 24 and stayed for four days in the area in eastern France, before returning to England on January 28.

Those onboard will be taken to Kents Hill Park hotel and conference centre
Those onboard will be taken to Kents Hill Park hotel and conference centre. Picture: PA

The five Britons whose diagnosis was confirmed, as well as six compatriots with whom they had close contact, were taken to hospitals on Friday night in Lyon, Saint-Etienne and Grenoble.

The chalet where they were staying housed a British family that lives in Contamines and another British family who were on holidays.

Elsewhere, British honeymooner Alan Steele, who was transferred from the cruise liner Diamond Princess to hospital in Japan with coronavirus was said to be feeling well and in good spirits.

Mr Steele, from Wolverhampton, was moved to hospital on Friday while his wife Wendy remained on board the ship.

The liner had been isolated in the port of Yokohama before going back out to sea, with 61 people taken to hospital after testing positive for the virus.

Women wear face masks as a precaution to the outbreak of Coronavirus in Central Manchester
Women wear face masks as a precaution to the outbreak of Coronavirus in Central Manchester. Picture: PA

In Majorca, a British family of four was being tested after coming into contact with a coronavirus sufferer in France, the government in the Balearic Islands said.

A student at Portslade Aldridge Community Academy in Brighton is self-isolating for 14 days following advice from Public Health England.

As of 2pm on Sunday, the Department of Health said a total of 795 tests were concluded in the UK, with four testing positive and 791 confirmed negative.

It is understood one confirmed case caught the illness in Singapore. He is reported to be a middle-aged British man and is understood to be the first UK national to contract the disease.

He is thought to have been diagnosed in Brighton and was transferred to St Thomas' Hospital in London, where there is an infectious diseases unit, on Thursday afternoon.

Two other patients who had recently travelled from China are being treated at the Royal Victoria Infirmary infectious diseases centre in Newcastle.

One is a student at the University of York, while the other is a family member.

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