More cases of the new strain of coronavirus are highly likely to be reported in the United Kingdom, country's health officials have warned, as they confirmed the ninth case of the deadly virus, involving a woman who flew into the country from China -- the epicentre of the outbreak.
Health experts in the UK speculate that the virus will continue to spread in the country until it peaks in the summer. "We are planning that we are into this for the next few months," a source told The Guardian.
This comes after a Chinese woman, who lives in London with relatives, and is in her late 20s or early 30s, was tested positive for coronavirus. The woman had flown into Heathrow from China at the weekend and called NHS 111 when she developed symptoms after landing.
In an attempt to slow the spread of the virus, officials have now been ordered to trace all who she may have been in contact with since returning to the British capital, as well as the fellow passengers in her flight from China.
Coronavirus first originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year and has killed more than 1,300 people in that country alone. Cases have been reported in several countries across the world, including India.
The UK has reported a total of nine cases, including the recent case reported in London. Officials have told Britons to brace themselves for the spread of the virus.
Other experts, however, believe that it was too soon to tell whether the first reported case in London -- a transport hub with a population of nine million -- implied that the virus would spread in the city.
"We will not really be able to estimate the potential risk of onward spread until further information on this patient is known, including details of how long they were in the UK until they were diagnosed and what their movements were," The Guardian quoted Jon Cohen, emeritus professor of infectious diseases at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, as saying.
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