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  1. ITV Report

Testing underway for coronavirus in Wales as disease spreads worldwide

There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, but all flights to China have been suspended by British Airways Credit: PA Images

Public Health Wales has confirmed it's undertaken tests on people with symptoms of the deadly flu-like disease, coronavirus.

The health body would not say how many people had been tested because of the risk of the patient "being identifiable."

Dr Giri Shankar said: "For reasons of patient confidentiality, Public Health Wales is not able to comment on individual cases. We can confirm that all Welsh residents that meet the current testing criteria are being offered testing.

“We are not disclosing the number of individuals tested in Wales because they are so low they run the risk of being patient identifiable."

The new form of viral pneumonia which broke out in Wuhan, Hebei has killed 132 people in China with confirmed infections surging to nearly 6,000 worldwide.

The airline, British Airways, has suspended all flights to and from China after the Foreign Office warned against "all but essential travel" since the outbreak.

Public Health Wales would not confirm how many people had been tested. Credit: AP

Dr Giri Shankar, Professional Lead Consultant for Health Protection at Public Health Wales said there were no confirmed cases of the virus in Wales.

There are currently no confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus in Wales or in the rest of the UK, and the risk to the UK is low.

We continue to work with our partners in Welsh Government, the wider NHS in Wales, the other UK nations and others to monitor the situation closely.

We are supporting our partners in the Department of Health and Social care, who are working to get British Nationals back from Wuhan. Anyone returning from Wuhan will be safely isolated for 14 days, with all necessary medical attention.

– Dr Giri Shankar, Public Health Wales

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses causing illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. It presents patients with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing.

Advice for the public

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough.
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.
  • When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals.
  • The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

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