Millions of people with flu-like symptoms may have to “self-isolate” for a fortnight to tackle coronavirus if the UK develops more than 100 cases.
So far, eight of the nine people diagnosed with the virus, also known as Covid-19, in the UK have left hospital.
A total of 3,109 people have been tested here so far. If the number of cases rises significantly, those with coughs and colds may have to stay at home to limit the chance of the outbreak spreading.
In mainland China, the death toll reached 1,665 after health authorities reported another 142 deaths. There are more than 68,000 cases globally.
Reports have suggested that senior NHS managers have been told the service will stop testing for the strain once around 100 cases have been confirmed. The Department of Health and Social Care declined to comment.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Individuals who are discharged from hospital do not pose any health risk.”
Meanwhile, all 94 people in quarantine at Arrowe Park Hospital, Wirral, Merseyside, had been released, but more than 100 people remain at the Kents Hill Park Hotel in Milton Keynes, Bucks.
The UK is helping to train rapid response teams and local medics to fight the virus in Asia and Africa, investing £40million in vaccine and virus research while also donating £5million to a World Health Organisation appeal.
But Briton David Abel, stranded on infected cruise ship the Diamond Princess off Yokohama on the south coast of Japan since February 5 has said he had “never felt less loved” by his own country.
As the figure of those infected on board rose to 355, 400 American passengers were due to be evacuated from the vessel while 78 Britons remain on board.
Mr Abel, of Oxfordshire, fears being stuck in isolation beyond the initial February 19 deadline.
He said: “It’s gone beyond a joke. We could be here for six, seven, eight weeks.”
The Foreign Office said they were working “around the clock” to help Brits stuck on board the vessel.