The Coronavirus

Last updated 13th Feb 2020

On 31 December 2019 the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed by the People’s Republic of China of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, central China. We now know that a new virus named 2019-nCov Wuhan novel coronavirus is the cause of the infection.

Following the World Health Organization’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate.

In UK, over 2,500 people have been tested and only nine patients have tested positive for coronavirus.

Passengers and airline staff arriving on direct flights from China are actively assessed by Public Health England. Posters for passengers returning from central China in both English and Chinese have been distributed nationwide and also locally in Harrow, as specific advice is in place for these individuals.

Returning from abroad or visitors from abroad

Anyone travelling to the UK from Wuhan or Hubei Province in the past 14 days should stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if they have no symptoms.

Other travellers from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand should be aware of symptoms.  Anyone experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, within 14 days of travel should stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if the symptoms are mild.  Do not go to your GP or turn up at A&E.

Please refer to travelhealthpro.org.uk for the latest travel advice.  Public Health England has also issued general travel advice for members of the public.


What you can do to protect yourself from Coronavirus and other winter viruses


Familiarise yourself with the UK wide campaign to provide clear advice on how to slow the spread of Coronavirus.


Please help support the campaign to stem stem the spread of viruses, which promotes basic hygiene practices, such as regularly washaing hands with soap and water; always sneezing or coughing into a disposable tissue; and disposing of it immediately.  Watch the short campaign video.


In Harrow, we are reviewing our emergency preparedness and business continuity plans accordingly and should the need arise we will convene a strategic panel and take action accordingly. 

As this situation is rapidly changing, it is important to have access to a reliable source of information that is frequently updated from Public Health England who are leading the national response. 

You can find out more about the COVID-19 Coronavirus on the PHE Blog and here: Coronavirus: latest information and advice