Coronavirus: Passenger’s update from quarantined cruise ship
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The UK Government has chartered the final flight to bring British nationals back to the UK from coronavirus -hit Wuhan, China.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has said the plane is expected to leave in the early hours of Sunday morning local time, and will land at RAF Brize Norton in West Oxfordshire.
In a statement on the FCO website, they said: "The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will charter another civilian aircraft to help British nationals and their dependents leave Wuhan for the UK.
"On the flight, there will be a small number of medics to provide support to passengers, if required, and FCO officials will also be on board to provide assistance."
Officials added that the FCO wants to ensure all British nationals in Hubei province contact their teams to register if they want to leave on the flight.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: "We have been working round the clock to help British nationals leave Hubei province, on UK, French and New Zealand flights.
The final flight bringing back British nationals from Wuhan is expected to depart this weekend (Image: Getty Images)
"The Foreign Office is chartering a second and final UK flight with space to help all British nationals and their dependents remaining in Hubei to leave.
"I encourage all British nationals in Hubei to register with our teams if they want to leave on this flight."
A total of 94 UK nationals and family members have already been evacuated from Wuhan and arrived in the UK on Friday and Sunday.
A passenger on board a rescue flight carrying Britons back from China tested positive for coronavirus.
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Belgium’s health agency confirmed the woman who tested positive for coronavirus was one of nine Belgians on board the same flight from China, which was carrying passengers from 30 countries. 11 UK citizens and family members on the flight to France were then flown to RAF Brize Norton. 10 continued to Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral for a 14-day period of isolation.
Public Health England National Infection Service deputy director Nick Phin said: “Public Health England has been notified that a Belgian national who shared a flight with repatriated British Nationals has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
“All of the individuals who were on this flight are currently in supervised isolation and are being monitored for symptoms."
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab shared the news (Image: Getty Images)
While concerns grow surrounding the coronavirus, British scientists believe they have made a “significant breakthrough” in their research into developing a vaccine for the deadly virus.
Researchers from Imperial College London stated they are able to reduce part of the development time of the vaccine from a matter of years to days.
Animal testing could start as early as next year, with human studies coming later in the year if enough funding is secured.
Professor Robin Shattock, head of mucosal infection and immunity at Imperial College London, told Sky News: “Conventional approaches usually take at least two to three years before you even get to the clinic. And we’ve gone from that sequence to generating a candidate in the laboratory in 14 days.
Symptoms of coronavirus include a fever, dry cough and diarrhea (Image: Express)
"And we will have it in animal models by the beginning of next week. We’ve short-tracked that part. The next phase will be to move that from early animal testing into the first human studies.
“And we think with adequate funding we could do that in a period of a few months."
Professor Shattock added that the vaccine he and UK scientists are working on will likely be too late for the current breakout, but if it were to rear its head again, experts will be prepared.
“It’s not going to be too late if this becomes a pandemic and if it circulates around the world. We still don’t know much about the epidemic itself so it may wane over the summer months if it is like influenza.
“We may see a second wave come through on a global basis and if it comes a vaccine will be really important and would be in place to tackle that."
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