By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

In a follow-up on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation in the United Kingdom, the Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty said today that four additional patients in England have tested positive for novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to eight.

Image/dinky123uk

The new cases are all known contacts of a previously confirmed UK case, and the virus was passed on in France.

The patients have been transferred to specialist NHS centres at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and The Royal Free hospitals, and we are now using robust infection control measures to prevent further spread of the virus, Whitty noted.

In related news, Public Health England (PHE) announced today that the novel coronavirus diagnostic test they developed will be rolled out to laboratories across the UK starting today.

The increase in diagnostic capacity from one laboratory in London to 12 labs over the coming weeks, will accelerate the country’s testing capabilities. The laboratories are in the following locations: Scotland (2 laboratories), Northern Ireland, Wales, London, Cambridge, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Southampton.