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Two more UK coronavirus cases confirmed - as school shuts with parent taken ill
27 February 2020, 08:56
Two further cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the UK today by health officials.
The Department for Health said the total number of cases in the UK now stands at 15. The patients have been transferred to specialist NHS infection centres, officials said.
The two new patients returned to the UK from Italy and Tenerife.
One of the confirmed cases originates in Buxton, Derbyshire, where a school and NHS GP surgery have shut.
Callers to Buxton Medical Practice are greeted with an automated message that says: "We have a confirmed case of the coronavirus. We are liaising with PHE and the CCG to ensure all appropriate actions are taken. Please do not come to the practice."
A school in the town has closed after a parent reportedly was diagnosed with the illness.
Burbage Primary school said a parent was diagnosed with COVID-19.
The school posted on Facebook last night: "Burbage primary school in Buxton shall be CLOSED tomorrow (27th) due to a confirmed case of corona virus amongst their parent population.
"This is a precautionary measure and to enable a deep clean of the school to be completed.
"Once again let me stress this is just precautionary measures and for the safety and protection of children and teachers so that the school can be cleaned.
"There's no context or explanation as to whether the parent has actually been on the school premises. I would think its a very precautionary measure and not to panic at this stage."
More than 82,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide as the deadly illness has gripped every continent bar Antarctica.
Schools across the country have defied government advice in closing their doors to protect against coronavirus.
At least eight have shut, while others have sent pupils home amid fears they may have been exposed to coronavirus during trips to northern Italy.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte's primary school, Thomas's Battersea, is among those hit by the precautionary measures, with four pupils reportedly sent home to self-isolate following a trip to northern Italy.
UK health secretary Matt Hancock has warned against a "mass panic" over COVID-19, as the latest strand of coronavirus is known, but admitted the UK expects more cases.
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.
The Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to 10 towns in Lombardy (Codogno, Castiglione d'Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano) and one in Veneto (Vo'Euganeo).
And officials denied there were any plans to evacuate the Britons at a hotel in Tenerife under quarantine, instead arranging for written messages to be put under the doors of the rooms of British guests asking them to get in contact.
So far in the UK more than 7,000 people have been tested for the virus and of the 15 to have tested positive, eight have so far been discharged from hospital.
In China, where the virus originated, has reported a total of 78,497 cases, including 2,744 deaths. Outside China, there were 3,651, cases including 50 deaths.
After Brazil confirmed Latin America's first case on Wednesday, the virus has reached every continent except Antarctica.