"All our Global Positioning System and hospitals across the country have had a letter from the chief medical officer and the medical director at NHS England and us at Public Health England, so that if somebody does present and they are anxious, if they do meet our criteria, that they will be put somewhere where they won't infect other people while they're assessed and while we can get them tested". We've put together some of the most important things you need to know.
The emergence of a global coronavirus outbreak from China is reminiscent of the SARS outbreak of 2002 to 2003, which went on to kill almost 800 people. Arnaud Fontanet, head of the department of epidemiology at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, told AFP that the new virus strain, which has been officially named "2019-nCoV", is 80 percent genetically identical to SARS.
On the eve of the Lunar New Year, transportation was shut down Friday in at least eight cities with a total of about 25 million people.
Meanwhile, the island nation of Bahrain off the coast of Saudi Arabia, home to the long-haul carrier Gulf Air, said it had "taken preemptive measures" at Manama International Airport as well, without elaborating.
The WHO said on Monday it believes an animal source was the "primary source" of the outbreak.
On Thursday, Huanggang, a city of 7.5 million people, announced that public transport and train services were suspended and citizens were told to not leave the city.
There is evidence that the virus is passing from person to person. According to Gulf News approximately 1,400 people are now under medical observation due to symptoms that might mean they are carrying the virus.
The patients have also had a high fever and a cough, officials said. Symptoms include aching muscles, a runny nose, and a sore throat.
The World Health Organisation has also warned that epidemic-prone diseases such as ebola, influenza and severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) are increasingly hard to manage in the face of prolonged conflict, fragile states and forced migration.
The symptoms appear to be less aggressive than those of SARS.
"The passengers passed through this structure where, if there had been - and that was not the case today - a need to do further tests our ambulance was there" to take them to a hospital, she said. "It's mild. The condition of the lung is not like SARS". "But it has not yet become a global health emergency".
Cutting off travel and trade with a country dealing with an outbreak is viewed as unlikely to stop disease spread and is likely to discourage countries from being transparent about outbreaks.
Understandably, locking down a city with a population of 11 million is an incredibly tall order. Countless travelers will have also left Wuhan between the time of the first known infection and the enforcement of the travel ban.
He also said he had not visited the seafood market in Wuhan linked to the initial outbreak, they said. The market has been closed since January.
Didier Houssin, the chair of a WHO emergency committee, said Thursday that members remained divided about the need for a PHEIC, but that overall, they decided it was too early to recommend that WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declare one.