Experts Warn Coronavirus Is Already Uncontrollable As Videos Of Packed Hospitals Emerge
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The epidemic, which so far has killed at least 26 people, has led Chinese authorities to take the move to quarantine those living in ten cities across the Hubei Province, as reported by AP.
This means that the equivalent of an estimated 33 million people are not allowed to travel in the lead-up to the Lunar New Year celebrations that will take place around the world.
A virologist in the country warned that the outbreak is already 'uncontrollable' in Wuhan - the city thought to be the epicentre of the illness, saying that he had to leave the area due to a 'jaw-dropping' lack of preventative measures being taken to stop the spread of the disease.
Dr Guan Yi was on the team that helped to identify the SARS virus 17 years ago, which infected up to 8,000 people. He has decided to put himself into quarantine after returning from the Wuhan.
He told Chinese news outlet Caixin: "When I left Wuhan, I wore a mask all the way on the plane. As soon as I got off the plane, I used alcohol disinfectant to disinfect all my clothes, shoes and suitcases.
"The house was self-isolated for at least five days, and reported every morning and evening with or without symptoms. Other people who have not been to Wuhan try to go to public places as little as possible. Once they feel uncomfortable, seek medical treatment as soon as possible and avoid contact with others."
He added: "It is conservatively estimated that the scale of the infection may eventually take off 10 times that of SARS. I've experienced so much, I've never felt scared, most of them are controllable, but this time I'm scared."
It comes after Public Health England confirmed that at least 14 people in the UK have now been tested for the virus.
As reported by the BBC, five of them have tested negative, with nine still awaiting results.
In a statement to the House of Commons, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock, said that the situation is developing 'rapidly' and that more deaths are expected to be reported.
He said: "The chief medical officer has revised the risk to the UK population from 'very low' to 'low' and has concluded that while there is an increased likelihood that cases may arise in this country, we are well prepared and well equipped to deal with them.
"The UK is one of the first countries to have developed a world-leading test for the new coronavirus.
"The NHS is ready to respond appropriately to any cases that emerge."