EU health agency ups risk of China virus import into Europe to moderate

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has scaled up the risk of importing cases of the novel coronavirus identified in China from “low” to “moderate,” after experts confirmed it can be transmitted between people.

Given that the source of the infection, which started in the Chinese city of Wuhan, is “unknown and could still be active,” the likelihood of infection of people visiting the city who came in close contact with those carrying the virus is considered “moderate,” the ECDC said in an update dated January 21.

In turn, the likelihood that travelers could import cases into Europe has risen to “moderate” given the increased travel to and from China over the Chinese New Year celebrations, the ECDC said.

Three airports in the EU have direct flight connections to Wuhan, the ECDC said, without specifying them. These are London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Rome Fiumicino, according to

Following that announcement, U.K. authorities said Wednesday theyll impose enhanced monitoring on all three direct flights a week from Wuhan to London. This includes the use of an isolated area of Heathrow airport, Terminal 4, to receive the aircraft. They will also request that the captains of those aircraft inform them of any passenger illness at least an hour before landing.

A medical team will receive passengers and check for symptoms of coronavirus, as well as inform them about what to do if they start feeling ill.

At the same time, the countrys health department said the risk that the virus poses to Britain is low. “This has been raised from very low due to current evidence on the likelihood of cases being imported into this country,” it added.

Public Health England has developed a diagnostic test for the disease, which makes the U.K. one of the first countries in the world, besides China, to have a prototype specific laboratory test for this novel disease, it saRead More – Source