Doctor who warned of coronavirus was told by police: ‘If you refuse to repent you will be punished’

The hero Chinese doctor who first warned of coronavirus before he was killed by the illness was warned by police in a letter that if he ‘refused to repent he would be punished’.

Doctor Li Wenliang, 34, died on Friday but previously shared the note on his Weibo social media account revealing Wuhan police had accused him of ‘disrupting order’ and asked him to stop his ‘illegal behavior’. 

It included two sections which Li had to answer, in which officials told him he was receiving a ‘reprimand for illegally spreading untruthful information online’ and that police wanted him to ‘reflect on his actions’.

Li returned to his job at Wuhan Central Hospital to treat patients after being reprimanded and died from coronavirus himself soon after sharing the letter, which was dated January 3.

Doctor Li Wenliang, 34, who died from coronavirus in the early hours of Friday morning after first raising the alarm about the illness, had previously shared a letter from Wuhan police warning that if he 'refused to repent he would be punished'

Doctor Li Wenliang, 34, who died from coronavirus in the early hours of Friday morning after first raising the alarm about the illness, had previously shared a letter from Wuhan police warning that if he 'refused to repent he would be punished'

He had been reprimanded by police after warning on social media of 'SARS at a Wuhan seafood market'

He had been reprimanded by police after warning on social media of 'SARS at a Wuhan seafood market'

Doctor Li Wenliang, 34, who died from coronavirus in the early hours of Friday morning after first raising the alarm about the illness, had previously shared a letter from Wuhan police warning that if he ‘refused to repent he would be punished’

In the final part of the letter, Li was asked ‘if you insist on your views, refuse to repent and continue the illegal activit, you will be punished by the law. Do you understand?’, reports Inkstone News.

The ophthalmologist first caught the public’s attention when he was reprimanded by police and accused of spreading fake news for warning on social media of ‘SARS at a Wuhan seafood market’ on December 30.

Li’s warning post came two weeks before the coronavirus outbreak was declared and Wuhan, at the epicentre, was put into lock down.

His family have since been paid £90,000 after Beijing ruled his death was a ‘work injury’ following outpourings of grief and fury on social media.

The letter was revealed as video showing people suspected of having coronavirus being forcefully dragged from their homes emerged and the communist regime started rounding up suffers in Wuhan and taking them to camps.

Officials in protective suits are seen holding onto two people by their arms before a third more resistive man is picked up from the floor and carried away in one shocking clip shared online.

The letter, which was signed by Doctor Li and dated January 3, showed the police asking him: 'If you insist on your views, refuse to repent and continue the illegal activit, you will be punished by the law. Do you understand?'

The letter, which was signed by Doctor Li and dated January 3, showed the police asking him: 'If you insist on your views, refuse to repent and continue the illegal activit, you will be punished by the law. Do you understand?'

The doctor's family have since been paid £90,000 after Beijing ruled his death was a 'work injury' following outpourings of grief and fury on social media

The doctor's family have since been paid £90,000 after Beijing ruled his death was a 'work injury' following outpourings of grief and fury on social media

The letter (left), which was signed by Doctor Li (right) and dated January 3, showed the police asking him: ‘If you insist on your views, refuse to repent and continue the illegal activit, you will be punished by the law. Do you understand?’

The footage, thought to have been filmed in Wuhan, comes after China‘s Vice Premier Sun Chunlan called on a ‘people’s war’ against the fast-spreading epidemic.

Last week the country’s central government ordered the city – which is the epicentre of the virus – to round up all suspected patients as well as their close contacts in mass quarantine camps. 

As of Saturday more than 700 people have been killed by the virus, with 86 people dying on Friday alone, and more than 34,500 globally have been infected. 

In the video one person wearing a face mask is seen being quickly pulled along by officials and is soon followed by a woman in a winter jacket who is held underneath the arms by someone in a protective suit.

However the officials have more trouble in removing a third person who is laying in a doorway and refusing to be picked up.

The footage, thought to have been filmed in Wuhan, China, shows officials in protective suits forcefully removing people suspected of having coronavirus from their home

The footage, thought to have been filmed in Wuhan, China, shows officials in protective suits forcefully removing people suspected of having coronavirus from their home

Several officials pick up one man, who had been resisting their efforts, and carry him down the stairs in the disturbing video

Several officials pick up one man, who had been resisting their efforts, and carry him down the stairs in the disturbing video

The footage, thought to have been filmed in Wuhan, China, shows officials in protective suits forcefully removing people suspected of having coronavirus from their home

Two people try to lift him, but after having no luck are they are joined by a man in a blue apron and then two other officials. 

Despite the manpower, the group still struggle to lift the man who kicks out at them and struggles from the floor. Eventually three of the men manage to pick him up and carry the suspected patient down the stairs.

While in another video, said to have also been filmed in China, a woman is seen being detained by several police officers and struggling against them.

The clip was shared on Twitter claiming to show the woman being ‘arrested and put in isolation for not wearing a mask against coronavirus.’

A person wearing a face mask is walked out of the home while having her arms held onto

A person wearing a face mask is walked out of the home while having her arms held onto

Another woman is walked out of the home in the short clip which has surfaced online

Another woman is walked out of the home in the short clip which has surfaced online

A person wearing a face mask (left) is walked out of the home while having her arms held onto while another (right) is dragged by yet more officals

Another clip shows several police officers arresting a woman who was 'not wearing a face mask in public'

Another clip shows several police officers arresting a woman who was 'not wearing a face mask in public'

The woman is seen fighting back and trying to kick out at the police

The woman is seen fighting back and trying to kick out at the police

Another clip shows several police officers arresting a woman who was ‘not wearing a face mask in public’ as she tries to fight them off and kicks out

It comes after it was revealed that China‘s central government ordered Wuhan to round up all suspected patients and anyone they are thought to have been in close contact with in mass quarantine camps. 

Vice Premier Sun also demanded Communist officials of all levels take active lead in this ‘wartime condition’, or face being ‘nailed onto the pillar of historical shame forever’.

The city of Wuhan has around 14 million residents, but it remains unknown how many people will be quarantined or where they would be kept.

Wuhan officials are now carrying out door-to-door health checks to identify potential carriers who would need to be isolated.

Ms Sun demanded four types of people in Wuhan be put into mandatory isolation in quarantine stations: confirmed cases, suspected cases, people who have close contact with the former two, and those who have fever.

She later instructed all levels of officials to treat the fight of the outbreak as the ‘most important and urgent mission’ in another briefing.

‘There must be a 24-hour shift pattern. During the wartime condition, there must be no deserters, otherwise they will be forever nailed onto the pillar of historical shame’, Ms Sun said, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

China has demanded four types of people in Wuhan to be put into mandatory isolation in quarantine stations: confirmed cases, suspected cases, people who have close contact with the former two, and those who have fever. Pictured, patients rest at a makeshift hospital

China has demanded four types of people in Wuhan to be put into mandatory isolation in quarantine stations: confirmed cases, suspected cases, people who have close contact with the former two, and those who have fever. Pictured, patients rest at a makeshift hospital

China has demanded four types of people in Wuhan to be put into mandatory isolation in quarantine stations: confirmed cases, suspected cases, people who have close contact with the former two, and those who have fever. Pictured, patients rest at a makeshift hospital 

A screen grab from a CCTV news programme shows China's Vice Premier Sun Chunlan delivering her order to Communist officials at a meeting aimed to curb the outbreak

A screen grab from a CCTV news programme shows China's Vice Premier Sun Chunlan delivering her order to Communist officials at a meeting aimed to curb the outbreak

A screen grab from a CCTV news programme shows China’s Vice Premier Sun Chunlan delivering her order to Communist officials at a meeting aimed to curb the outbreak

Medical workers in protective suits are seen talking while at the Wuhan Parlor Convention Center on Friday. Wuhan has around 14 million residents, but it remains unknown how many people would be quarantined or where they will be kept

Medical workers in protective suits are seen talking while at the Wuhan Parlor Convention Center on Friday. Wuhan has around 14 million residents, but it remains unknown how many people would be quarantined or where they will be kept

Medical workers in protective suits are seen talking while at the Wuhan Parlor Convention Center on Friday. Wuhan has around 14 million residents, but it remains unknown how many people would be quarantined or where they will be kept

The death toll in China from the coronavirus has risen to 811, surpassing SARS fatalities in the 2002 to 2003 outbreak, Chinese health authorities announced on Sunday.

China’s National Health Commission said total cases in the country from the virus had increased to 37,198, up from 31,774 a day earlier.

This new number brings the total number of people who have died from coronavirus to 724 worldwide, with one death in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines. 

On Saturday it was also confirmed that the first American, who had been living in Wuhan, has died from the virus with the 60-year-old passing away on Thursday.

Four Britons – a couple and their two children – have also been admitted to Son Espases hospital in the Palma, Majorca, this weekend after having tests for the virus.

The admissions occurred after the unnamed dad, who lives in Majorca, went to the hospital on Thursday to inform medics he had been in contact with a person who had tested positive for the virus in France.  

Briton Alan Steele (pictured with his new wife Wendy) was taken off the Diamond Princess cruise liner and sent to hospital after testing positive for the virus

Briton Alan Steele (pictured with his new wife Wendy) was taken off the Diamond Princess cruise liner and sent to hospital after testing positive for the virus

Briton Alan Steele (pictured with his new wife Wendy) was taken off the Diamond Princess cruise liner and sent to hospital after testing positive for the virus 

A team of health workers in hazmat suits on the shore in Yokohama on Friday where Japanese authorities said the tally of coronavirus patients on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship had risen to 61

A team of health workers in hazmat suits on the shore in Yokohama on Friday where Japanese authorities said the tally of coronavirus patients on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship had risen to 61

A team of health workers in hazmat suits on the shore in Yokohama on Friday where Japanese authorities said the tally of coronavirus patients on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship had risen to 61

Health workers in protective gear were still working in Yokohama Bay as darkness fell on Friday with the Diamond Princess in quarantine

Health workers in protective gear were still working in Yokohama Bay as darkness fell on Friday with the Diamond Princess in quarantine

Health workers in protective gear were still working in Yokohama Bay as darkness fell on Friday with the Diamond Princess in quarantine 

France‘s health minister also confirmed on Saturday five cases of coronavirus, adding that all of the new people affected are British nationals and include a child.

Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said that the five were diagnosed with the coronavirus after coming into contact with a person who had been in Singapore.

She said they were not in a serious condition. The total number of people infected with the virus in France has now reached 11. Buzyn said the group of newly-infected people with the virus formed ‘a cluster, a grouping around one original case.’

‘That original case was brought to our attention last night, it is a British national who had returned from Singapore where he had stayed between January 20 and 23, and he arrived in France on January 24 for four days,’ Buzyn said, adding that the latest outbreak had occurred in the mountainous region of Savoie in eastern France. 

According to Le Figaro, the infected British man stayed in a skiing chalet, which contained two apartments, in Contamines-Montjoie, in Haute-Savoie between the 24 and 28 January. 

The first apartment housed three people, who were diagnosed positive with the coronavirus. Four others, were deemed to be suffering from minor symptoms. In the second apartment, a father and child were infected and their mother, who was in Britain, was hospitalised there.

As well as new cases and suspected patients appearing in Europe, dozens of people have also been struck down who were on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. 

The SuperStar Aquarius had been on a four-day round-trip from Keelung, near Taipei, with more than 1,730 passengers on board and has now arrived in Taiwan for health officials to test passengers for coronavirus

The SuperStar Aquarius had been on a four-day round-trip from Keelung, near Taipei, with more than 1,730 passengers on board and has now arrived in Taiwan for health officials to test passengers for coronavirus

The SuperStar Aquarius had been on a four-day round-trip from Keelung, near Taipei, with more than 1,730 passengers on board and has now arrived in Taiwan for health officials to test passengers for coronavirus 

Health officials boarded the ship, which is owned by Hong Kong-based Star Cruises, on Saturday. More than 40 of the 1,738 passengers have visited China in the past 30 days

Health officials boarded the ship, which is owned by Hong Kong-based Star Cruises, on Saturday. More than 40 of the 1,738 passengers have visited China in the past 30 days

Health officials boarded the ship, which is owned by Hong Kong-based Star Cruises, on Saturday. More than 40 of the 1,738 passengers have visited China in the past 30 days

The Wuhan coronavirus had killed 722 in China and 724 worldwide as of Saturday, with one death in Hong Kong and another in the Philippines (pictured are cases around the world)

The Wuhan coronavirus had killed 722 in China and 724 worldwide as of Saturday, with one death in Hong Kong and another in the Philippines (pictured are cases around the world)

The Wuhan coronavirus had killed 722 in China and 724 worldwide as of Saturday, with one death in Hong Kong and another in the Philippines (pictured are cases around the world)

Newlywed Alan Steele was on board the cruise liner when it was quarantined in the port of Yokohama after 61 passengers tested positive.

He was transferred to the medical facility on Friday. His new wife Wendy was forced to remain on board the ship but has been in regular telephone contact with him. 

Briton Mr Steele was one of 41 people who learned they had the virus after 171 remaining test results came back on Friday, trebling the ship’s total of virus patients from 20 to 61. 

The newly diagnosed also include 21 Japanese nationals, as well as eight Americans, five Canadians, five Australians and an Argentine. 

The ship’s operator, Princess Cruises, said the vessel’s quarantine was due to end on February 19 providing that there are no ‘unforeseen developments’. They also confirmed all affected guests were being taken to hospitals. 

Meanwhile another vessel with 40 people from China that was turned away from Japan has arrived in Taiwan. with health officials boarding to test to holidaymakers for coronavirus. 

A resident rides a bike across an eerily empty road on Friday in Wuhan as the number of people infected with coronavirus continues to rise

A resident rides a bike across an eerily empty road on Friday in Wuhan as the number of people infected with coronavirus continues to rise

A resident rides a bike across an eerily empty road on Friday in Wuhan as the number of people infected with coronavirus continues to rise

A man wears a mask as he venture outside in a very quiet Wuhan on Friday. During the day 86 more people died from the virus

A man wears a mask as he venture outside in a very quiet Wuhan on Friday. During the day 86 more people died from the virus

A man wears a mask as he venture outside in a very quiet Wuhan on Friday. During the day 86 more people died from the virus

A Chinese man is seen wearing a protective mask as he monitors the entrance to a residential neighbourhood next to a sign saying 'Strong prevention, don't panic, believe in science, don't spread rumours' in Beijing on Friday

A Chinese man is seen wearing a protective mask as he monitors the entrance to a residential neighbourhood next to a sign saying 'Strong prevention, don't panic, believe in science, don't spread rumours' in Beijing on Friday

A Chinese man is seen wearing a protective mask as he monitors the entrance to a residential neighbourhood next to a sign saying ‘Strong prevention, don’t panic, believe in science, don’t spread rumours’ in Beijing on Friday

People wearing face masks are seen stocking up on food at a supermarket in Hangzhou in east China's Zhejiang province on Friday

People wearing face masks are seen stocking up on food at a supermarket in Hangzhou in east China's Zhejiang province on Friday

People wearing face masks are seen stocking up on food at a supermarket in Hangzhou in east China’s Zhejiang province on Friday

Dozens of people donned the masks as they shopped in Hangzhou on Friday. During the day 86 people died from coronavirus

Dozens of people donned the masks as they shopped in Hangzhou on Friday. During the day 86 people died from coronavirus

Dozens of people donned the masks as they shopped in Hangzhou on Friday. During the day 86 people died from coronavirus

The SuperStar Aquarius had been on a four-day round-trip from Keelung, near Taipei, with more than 1,730 passengers on board. More than 40 of the 1,738 passengers have visited China in the past 30 days. 

Tomorrow more around 150 Britons are being flown back from the coronavirus-hit city of Wuhan and will be kept in quarantine for 14 days in Milton Keynes.

Dire coronavirus warnings from Britain’s top experts 

Leading virologists and infectious disease specialists met at a hastily organised meeting by the respected Science Media Centre in London on Friday amid the escalating outbreak.

They made a series  of dire warnings about the disease, including:

  • A vaccine will not be ready until at least 2021
  • Even if we eradicate the virus in the next few months it could re-emerge in winter  
  • An outbreak in late 2020 could be devastating for NHS staff juggling winter crisis 
  • The death of a seemingly healthy Chinese doctor in his 30s raises fears it may have ability to kill people with strong immune systems
  • Don’t be fooled by a decrease in confirmed cases in the last few days – this could be a lack of man power and errors in cataloging them in China
  • The virus may be spread to babies from pregnant mothers during childbirth
  • Cases are at least 10 times higher than the current 31,000 being reported 

The panel of six was made up of leading experts in the UK, including:  David Heymann, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; Dr Gail Carson, Consultant in Infectious Diseases, University of Oxford; Robin Shattock, Professor of Mucosal Infection and Immunity, Imperial College London; Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology, University of Oxford; Paul Hunter, Professor in Medicine at the University of East Anglia; and Professor John Edmunds, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

South Central Ambulance Service said that Kents Hill Park, a conference centre and hotel, will be used to house the returning citizens after they land at RAF Brize Norton – where they will remain in isolation for two weeks.

Everyone boarding the plane at the Chinese city, which is the epicentre of the outbreak, will be assessed and will continue to be monitored after landing in the UK on Sunday morning.

On Tuesday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that the flight would be the final service chartered by the Foreign Office to bring UK nationals back from the Chinese city. 

While on Friday night a medical professor said the number of coronavirus cases around the world could be 10 times higher than currently thought. 

The death toll in mainland China – the epicentre of the outbreak – reached 637 on Friday, with a total of 31,211 confirmed cases. 

There have been a further 320 cases in 27 other countries, including three in Britain, and one death reported from the Philippines.

But scientists warned the spread of the virus across borders, coupled with its suspected two-week incubation period and the unreliability of testing methods, made it difficult to track.

John Edmunds, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said modelling showed there were ‘ten times more cases than have been reported – or even more’. 

He added: ‘It’s a mild disease that might be missed if somebody doesn’t seek healthcare. And none of the tests is going to be 100 per cent sensitive so it is not unusual to only capture maybe 10 per cent of the cases.’

Professor Edmunds acknowledged that predicting the true scale of the outbreak involved a degree of ‘guesswork’, adding: ‘When there are very large numbers of cases it becomes very hard to confirm them all just because of manpower. Time will tell.’

He said the next few days would show whether containment measures put in place by China had been effective.

A worker measures body temperature of people leaving a supermarket in Qingshan district on Friday following an outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan

A worker measures body temperature of people leaving a supermarket in Qingshan district on Friday following an outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan

A worker measures body temperature of people leaving a supermarket in Qingshan district on Friday following an outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan

Chinese authorities have deployed medics, security guards, volunteers and even robots to monitor the body temperature of citizens. A security guard is pictured checking the temperature of visitors at a seafood market in Guangzhou on Thursday

Chinese authorities have deployed medics, security guards, volunteers and even robots to monitor the body temperature of citizens. A security guard is pictured checking the temperature of visitors at a seafood market in Guangzhou on Thursday

Chinese authorities have deployed medics, security guards, volunteers and even robots to monitor the body temperature of citizens. A security guard is pictured checking the temperature of visitors at a seafood market in Guangzhou on Thursday

Commuters all wearing protective masks wait for a bus on a usually busy street on Friday in Beijing as the number of cases of coronavirus rose to more than 34000 in mainland China

Commuters all wearing protective masks wait for a bus on a usually busy street on Friday in Beijing as the number of cases of coronavirus rose to more than 34000 in mainland China

Commuters all wearing protective masks wait for a bus on a usually busy street on Friday in Beijing as the number of cases of coronavirus rose to more than 34000 in mainland China

Roads in Beijing usually brimming with traffic were seen eerily empty on Friday during what would have been rush hour

Roads in Beijing usually brimming with traffic were seen eerily empty on Friday during what would have been rush hour

Roads in Beijing usually brimming with traffic were seen eerily empty on Friday during what would have been rush hour

A woman and two young children wear facemasks at Shenzhen Bay Port Hong Kong Port Area on Friday after Hong Kong began enforcing a mandatory two-week quarantine for anyone arriving from mainland China

A woman and two young children wear facemasks at Shenzhen Bay Port Hong Kong Port Area on Friday after Hong Kong began enforcing a mandatory two-week quarantine for anyone arriving from mainland China

A woman and two young children wear facemasks at Shenzhen Bay Port Hong Kong Port Area on Friday after Hong Kong began enforcing a mandatory two-week quarantine for anyone arriving from mainland China

Experts said it was too early to tell whether the declining number of cases in recent days was ‘good news’ because so much was unknown.

Roughly 3,900 new cases were reported worldwide on Wednesday, compared with 3,700 on Thursday and 3,200 yesterday.

Public Health England announced on Friday it would be possible to test more than 1,000 people a day for coronavirus in laboratories across the UK from next week.

The diagnostic test currently used in London – where only 100 cases can be tested per day – will be available at 12 centres across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to increase capacity and speed up results.

In another announcement the Department of Health and Social Care said that 620 people in the UK have been tested for coronavirus as of 2pm Friday, with three cases confirmed.

Canadians, who had been evacuated from China on an American charter plane, board a bus after they disembarked from another aircraft at Canadian Forces Base on Friday

Canadians, who had been evacuated from China on an American charter plane, board a bus after they disembarked from another aircraft at Canadian Forces Base on Friday

Canadians, who had been evacuated from China on an American charter plane, board a bus after they disembarked from another aircraft at Canadian Forces Base on Friday

People in protective gear serve snacks Canadians as they were evacuated from China on Friday

People in protective gear serve snacks Canadians as they were evacuated from China on Friday

People in protective gear serve snacks Canadians as they were evacuated from China on Friday  

The evacuees were taken to a hangar after flying to Canadian Forces Base Trenton Ontario, Canada

The evacuees were taken to a hangar after flying to Canadian Forces Base Trenton Ontario, Canada

The evacuees were taken to a hangar after flying to Canadian Forces Base Trenton Ontario, Canada

Dozens of chairs and supplies were put out for people at the Canadian Forces hangar (pictured some of the people chatting inside the building)

Dozens of chairs and supplies were put out for people at the Canadian Forces hangar (pictured some of the people chatting inside the building)

Dozens of chairs and supplies were put out for people at the Canadian Forces hangar (pictured some of the people chatting inside the building)

Experts say the difficulty of containing the coronavirus is that so many patients have mild, cold-like symptoms and don't realise they have the infection – but it can quickly turn deadly

Experts say the difficulty of containing the coronavirus is that so many patients have mild, cold-like symptoms and don't realise they have the infection – but it can quickly turn deadly

Experts say the difficulty of containing the coronavirus is that so many patients have mild, cold-like symptoms and don’t realise they have the infection – but it can quickly turn deadly

It is understood that the third person in the UK to be diagnosed caught the illness in Singapore and is reported to be a middle-aged British man and is understood to be the first UK national to contract the disease.

The man is thought to have been diagnosed in Brighton and was transferred to St Thomas’ Hospital in London, where there is an infectious disease unit, on Thursday afternoon. 

The patient attended a business conference in Singapore organised by a UK company called Servomex, which describes itself as a ‘provider of reliable, accurate and stable gas measurements’ and is based near Brighton. 

Health bosses have now launched a frantic but farcical hunt for anyone who spent more than 15 minutes with the middle-aged man – despite not quarantining his own family. Furious Brits have slammed the ‘weak’ measures to prevent more cases in the UK, urging ministers to shut the border and saying ‘serious guidance is needed’. Others have questioned if it’s time to start wearing face masks. 

Flowers are seen near a photo of the late Dr. Li Wenliang at a hospital in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province after the doctor died from coronavirus earlier this week. News of the death on Friday of Li Wenliang, a doctor who was reprimanded by police for raising the alarm about the new coronavirus, sparked sorrow and outrage on Chinese social media

Flowers are seen near a photo of the late Dr. Li Wenliang at a hospital in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province after the doctor died from coronavirus earlier this week. News of the death on Friday of Li Wenliang, a doctor who was reprimanded by police for raising the alarm about the new coronavirus, sparked sorrow and outrage on Chinese social media

Flowers are seen near a photo of the late Dr. Li Wenliang at a hospital in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province after the doctor died from coronavirus earlier this week. News of the death on Friday of Li Wenliang, a doctor who was reprimanded by police for raising the alarm about the new coronavirus, sparked sorrow and outrage on Chinese social media

A woman is seen carrying Louis Vuitton bags outside an almost deserted luxury mall in Beijing on Friday

A woman is seen carrying Louis Vuitton bags outside an almost deserted luxury mall in Beijing on Friday

A woman is seen carrying Louis Vuitton bags outside an almost deserted luxury mall in Beijing on Friday

A man wearing a face mask walks past a closed Apple store in Beijing on Friday

A man wearing a face mask walks past a closed Apple store in Beijing on Friday

A man wearing a face mask walks past a closed Apple store in Beijing on Friday

It comes after it was revealed MPs believe a China travel ban could be introduced within weeks because the coronavirus outbreak appears to be getting worse and the government will be forced to act. 

A source who sits on the All Party Parliamentary China Group, set up to strengthen China-UK relations, said they would be surprised if the travel restriction was not imposed ‘in the next week or two’ amid calls for the government to step up its efforts to protect the UK against the killer disease. 

If introduced a ban would likely apply to foreign nationals who have visited China in the last 14 days – something 16 countries including the US, Australia, New Zealand and Japan have already imposed. Even Saudi Arabia and Iraq have introduced the ban before Britain.

Virologist Professor Ian Jones, from the University of Reading, welcomed the move, saying it was a ‘simple’ and ‘proactive’ measure that could delay more cases on home soil.

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE THREE CORONAVIRUS CASES IN THE UK? 

THE FIRST TWO CASES

A University of York student and his mother became the first two confirmed cases of the deadly coronavirus on British soil when they were diagnosed on January 31. But neither have been named.

Health officials repeatedly refused to give any details about the two cases, citing ‘patient confidentially’, and knocked back questions about where and when they entered Britain.

But MailOnline later that same day revealed the pair had stayed at a budget hotel in York.

Sources at the Staycity apart-hotel said the pair – who had been whisked away by paramedics on January 31 – never returned or collected their suitcases, clothing or toiletries. 

It is thought their toiletries remain sealed in their room. Officials have already paid for a sterilisation company to disinfect the room the pair stayed in, as well as surrounding ones. It is not clear if they are open again but the £49-a-night hotel is still operating. 

Sources then confirmed that both the infected patients had been whisked off to quarantine at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, one of four specialist centres in the UK set-up to treat contagious airborne infections. The patients are still there being treated.

The University of York confirmed one of the patients was a student on February 1. In hope of quashing fears, it said the infected student had not stepped foot on campus before or after he caught the virus. It was later revealed that the second patient was his mother.

THE THIRD CASE 

The patient is thought to have been diagnosed in Brighton and whisked off to a specialist infectious diseases unit at a London hospital, where they will be kept in isolation for at least two weeks.

Only four hospitals in England are equipped with these wards, two of which are in the capital – the Royal Free and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. The others are in Newcastle and Liverpool.

Public Health England said the patient did not catch the highly contagious disease in the UK, suggesting they had recently flown back from China. Officials have so far refused to offer any more details about the patient.

But there has been no flights into the UK from Wuhan since January 22, when Chinese authorities made the unprecedented decision to put the city into lockdown and ground all flights to fight the outbreak.

London Gatwick, the closest airport to Brighton – just 27miles (44km) north of the seaside city, has direct flights from Shanghai, another Chinese city that has recorded cases of the killer virus. 

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