Boris Johnson urges UK to remain 'confident and calm' amid coronavirus threat

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers

Boris Johnson has said the UK should remain "confident and calm" about dealing with the threat of coronavirus, as it is understood two prisoners are being tested for the disease.

The prime minister praised the NHS for their handling of coronavirus and said anyone concerned should "simply follow their advice".

His warning comes as it is understood two prisoners at HMP Bullingdon in Oxfordshire are being tested and kept in isolation.

One of the men is understood to have been recently transferred from a Thai jail.

They are both reported to be suffering flu-like symptoms.

  • ITV News Science Editor Tom Clarke provides update on coronavirus from Geneva

In the UK, only eight of the 1,358 coronavirus tests had returned positive results as of Tuesday evening, the Department of Health said.

Speaking in Birmingham, Mr Johnson said: “We are a great country, we have got a fantastic NHS, we have got fantastic doctors and advice, and they should simply take the advice of the NHS.

The Grenadier pub in Hove, East Sussex, one of the locations visited by the Brighton businessman, Steve Walsh, who has been diagnosed with coronavirus. Credit: PA

“People have every reason to be confident and calm about all that kind of thing… all the coronavirus, and any threats from disease.”

It came as Steve Walsh, the businessman at the centre of a UK outbreak of coronavirus, thanked the NHS for his treatment and said he is “fully recovered”.

Mr Walsh, 53, from Hove in East Sussex, who is still in quarantine at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, picked up coronavirus while at a conference in Singapore.

On his way back to the UK, he stopped off in France which subsequently infected five other Britons.

A man with a face protection mask in a Chinese supermarket store in Brighton. Credit: AP

He is also linked to at least five further cases of coronavirus in the UK, including two doctors, one of whom worked at a Brighton surgery that has closed its doors.

Mr Walsh is also linked to one male patient taken ill in Majorca.

In Brighton, Patcham Nursing Home said on Tuesday that it has “closed to all visitors” after one of the infected GPs visited a patient there about a week ago.

The County Oak Medical Centre in Brighton also remained closed after it emerged one of the doctors working there had contracted the virus.

Meanwhile, pupils at Cottesmore St Mary’s Catholic and Bevendean Primary School in Brighton were told they could stay at home after a couple of teachers feared the had come into contact with the virus.

It comes as the World Health Organisation announced a name for the new coronavirus – Covid-19.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference a name was decided that “did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people, and which is also pronounceable and related to the disease”.

He described the outbreak as “a very grave threat for the rest of the world”.