The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSS) and Public Health England (PHE) have initiated screening of passengers from Wuhan at major ports of entry, as the outbreak of the novel Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV) continues to grow.
“We have been carefully monitoring the coronavirus situation in Wuhan and are ready to put in place proportionate, precautionary measures,” the organisations said in a statement.
Enhanced monitoring is being conducted for all direct flights from Wuhan to the UK.
For those travelling back directly from Wuhan, enhanced monitoring is being conducted. This will include a Port Health team who will meet each direct flight aircraft to provide advice and support to passengers. They will check for symptoms and provide information to passengers about what symptoms to be alert to and what to do if they become ill. Mandarin and Cantonese language support is to be made available to PHE.
There are three direct flights a week that arrive at Heathrow from Wuhan.
The DHSS and PHE said the enhanced monitoring of direct flights will be kept under continuous review and “expanded to other Chinese departure points if necessary.”
Earlier this week, PHE published guidance for primary care professionals dealing with a suspected case of 2019-nCoV infections. The guidance also sets out the criteria which should be used to identify a suspected case.