Great Britain

UK coronavirus alert as paramedics in hazmat suits take away THIRD person in York after student and mum get killer virus

PARAMEDICS in hazmat suits were spotted bundling a person into an ambulance in York - sparking fears a third person could have coronavirus.

Medics swooped on a house in a city at the centre of the outbreak after after student and his mum tested positive for the deadly virus that has killed more than 250 worldwide.

The University of York student and his family member had taken ill at a hotel in York last Friday.

There was speculation that the patients had flown back from China for the university’s winter graduation ceremony, which took place on January 23 and 24.

They are being treated at an infectious diseases unit at Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

And the latest suspected case lives less than a third of a mile from the address in Millfield Lane, York, where paramedics were spotted on Tuesday night.

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Mobile phone footage, taken from a nearby house, shows a paramedic in protective clothing entering the house.

A witness said the medics took a young woman - whose nationality is not yet known - away from the property without needing a stretcher.

The witness, who did not wish to be named, said the ambulance arrived at the house about 7.20pm on Tuesday and left without using their siren.

They added: "It is a student house with about four or five people living in, so it is most likely she was a student.

"I imagine the people in the house were concerned. I was just visiting someone on the street, but it was scary to see.

"The obvious concern is that it is another coronavirus case, which is worrying."

HIGH ALERT

The incident comes just a week after a male York University student and his mother became the first confirmed cased of the deadly virus in the UK.

The student had been staying at Staycity Aparthotel in the city when they were taken ill last Wednesday last week.

Public Health England has declined to comment on the matter, saying: "We will not be providing rolling updates on suspected cases.

"This is to protect patient confidentiality."

The government body revealed, as of 5 February, a total of 468 UK tests have concluded, of which 466 were confirmed negative and two positive.

Meanwhile, Britain could ban visitors from China in a bid to halt the deadly virus.

But York Central MP Rachel Maskell has hit out at the lack of communication from health authorities about the coronavirus outbreak.

She said of the latest suspected case: "It is crucial that the public are kept informed of developments associated with the Coronavirus infection.

"I have raised this twice in the House of Commons this week and am awaiting a further meeting with the Minister."

People of Chinese origin make up the single largest non-white ethnic group in York, accounting for around 1.2 per cent of the city's 200,000 population.

Both the University of York and York St John University have said they were not aware of any students being treated for the coronavirus.

A spokesman for the University of York insisted the student confirmed to have contracted the deadly virus did not come into contact with other students.

A statement said: "The affected student did not come into contact with the virus on campus or in the Vita accommodation.

"Initially, Public Health England (PHE) confirmed to the University that the student had not been present in student accommodation on or off campus between the point of being exposed to the virus and being taken to hospital.

"As soon as PHE released this new information, the University informed all staff and students.

"We understand that this update will cause concern, and we would like to stress that the level of risk remains negligible."

Meanwhile, two Brits are on a quarantined on a cruise ship in Japan.

Brits evacuated from ground zero Wuhan also remain in quarantine in NHS accommodation on Merseyside.

And as part of the NHS response, hospitals have been told to create “priority assessment pods” for people with suspected coronavirus.

Hong Kong today imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine on all visitors from mainland China.

China's Ambassador to the UK defends country's response to Coronavirus and insists, 'Every life counts'

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