One of the first two people to test positive for coronavirus in the UK is a student at the University of York, it was revealed today, as bosses open a call centre for panicked students.
The pair, two members of the same family, are being treated at a specialist unit in Newcastle. They had checked into the Staycity apartment-hotel in York on Wednesday and were taken to hospital that evening. Health chiefs confirmed yesterday they had tested positive for the virus.
It comes as the number of confirmed cases in China rose to 11,791 today, surpassing the number in the 2002-03 outbreak of Sars, and the death toll rose to 259.
In a statement today, a spokeswoman for the University of York said the risk of the infection being passed on to other people on campus is low. But she could not fully confirm whether the student had come into contact with anybody on campus while they had symptoms.
Those who have been in close contact with the student or their relative - within two metres of those infected for at least 15 minutes - will get advice provided officials are able to get in touch with them.
University of York Vice-Chancellor Professor Charlie Jeffery said he wished to provide reassurance for students and staff.
Speaking on Saturday afternoon, he said: 'I want to reassure our students, staff and the wider community that we're working closely with the lead agency Public Health England and other agencies to manage this situation.'
He said the university, which is home to students and staff from more than 140 countries, is 'very much an international community'.
Stressing that the university is open and will continue to operate as normal, he added: 'I want to reiterate to students, staff, parents and visitors that we're working with our partners across the city to ensure that York and the university remain a safe and welcoming place to live, work and visit.'
Elsewhere, the University of Derby was also isolating students that have returned from Wuhan for 14 days following advice from Public Health England and the World Health Organisation. The university would not reveal where the students are being isolated - whether it in halls or elsewhere.
And in Wirral, Merseyside, the 83 Britons repatriated from the crisis-hit Chinese city last night are beginning their first day in quarantine - where they will be holed up in the building at the side of Arrowe Park Hospital for 14 days.
Those in isolation have been sharing glimpses of life inside the quarantine zone, with one giving a guided tour of his apartment block - complete with television, food, oven and more - while another shared an image of himself with a surgical mask on while sitting inside his room.
A total of 201 tests for coronavirus in the UK have been confirmed negative, the Department of Health said in the latest figures released this afternoon.
Other developments in the outbreak today include:China's Premier Li Keqiang has asked the EU for medical supplies to help battle the major coronavirus outbreak A British father stranded in coronavirus-stricken Wuhan with his four-week-old baby fears the food may run out Spain confirmed its first case of coronavirus this morning as the worldwide death toll for the killer bug hit 259 The number of confirmed cases in China rose to 11,791, surpassing the number in the 2002-03 outbreak of Sars The US yesterday declared a public health emergency amid growing concern over the worldwide virus outbreak Donald Trump signed an order barring entry to foreign nationals who have visited China within the last 14 days Apple has said it will close all of its official stores and corporate offices in mainland China until February 9, 2020 China has asked couples to delay their nuptials from February 2 this year. It is being considered a lucky date for wedding ceremonies because the sequence of numbers '02022020' reads the same backwards as forwards Families in China have also been asked to scale down funeral services to help slow the spread of viral outbreak
A student is picture at the University of York campus on Saturday afternoon wearing a face mask following the revelation that someone from the university was the first person to test positive for the coronavirus in the country
One of the first two people to test positive for coronavirus in the UK is a student at the University of York, it has been revealed
University of York Vice-Chancellor Professor Charlie Jeffery (pictured) said he wished to provide reassurance for students and staff
Students wear face masks around campus at the University of York today as fears heightened over the spread of coronavirus
In a statement on Saturday a spokesman for the university said the risk of the infection being passed on to other people on campus is low
Dramatic footage has emerged of hundreds of Chinese students queuing to get face masks from a chemist to protect themselves from the coronavirus. The students formed a line all day near the small chemist in Liverpool, near the Royal Liverpool Hospital yesterday afternoon
Almost 12,000 people in 24 countries and territories have now been diagnosed with the Wuhan coronavirus and 259 people have died, all in China
People in the window of an apartment block at Arrowe Park Hospital this afternoon where British citizens flown in from Wuhan are being quarantined
Supplies including fresh milk, bread and crisps are wheeled into the accommodation block housing the quarantined Brits from coronavirus hit China at the Arrowe Park Hospital site
Members of the public spotted wearing face protection masks in Newcastle today the day after it was revealed that two patients who have tested positive for coronavirus are being treated at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary
Members of the public spotted wearing face protection masks in Newcastle today the day after it was revealed that two patients who have tested positive for coronavirus are being treated at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary Hospital
A man wears a mask in Newcastle upon Tyne, near where two patients who have tested positive for coronavirus elsewhere in England are bring treated in the city's Royal Victoria Infirmary's high consequence infectious disease unit
A woman wears a mask in Newcastle upon Tyne, near where two patients who have tested positive for coronavirus this week
Heidi Fraser-Krauss, Deputy Registrar and Director of Corporate and Information Services at the University of York, said: 'Public Health England (PHE) have informed us that one of the two individuals to have tested positive for coronavirus is a student at the University of York.
'We understand this development will cause concern and anxiety among our students, staff, and the wider community.
'PHE has advised us that the risk of infection being passed to others on campus is low.
'Current information from PHE suggests that the student did not come into contact with anybody on campus whilst they had symptoms, but investigations are ongoing to fully establish this.'
She added: 'Our immediate concerns are for the affected student and family, along with the health and continued wellbeing of our staff, students and visitors.
'We are working closely with NHS services and Public Health England who are taking the lead in responding to the case. The University is required to follow their direction in all matters related to this situation.
'The University continues to operate normally. We are monitoring the situation closely and we continue to provide as much advice, care and support as we can to our University community.
'If people have any concerns about their health in relation to suspected coronavirus we ask that they follow current PHE advice and contact NHS 111.
'The University has set up a call centre over the weekend for anyone who has any further concerns or inquiries. The telephone number is 01904 809571.'
A student at the University of York has tested positive for coronavirus - so what is their advice to students?
The University said it has been advised by Public Health England (PHE) that the risk of infection on campus is low, because it is not thought the student came into contact with anyone there while they had symptoms.
But, recognising the 'concern and anxiety' the news will cause, the university has set up a special helpline.
Anyone with concern about their health in relation to coronavirus is advised to follow current advice from the PHE and call the NHS non-emergency line on 111.
The university said it continues to operate normally while monitoring the situation closely.
A spokesman said: 'We understand this development will cause concern and anxiety among our students, staff, and the wider community.
'PHE has advised us that the risk of infection being passed to others on campus is low.
'Current information from PHE suggests that the student did not come into contact with anybody on campus whilst they had symptoms, but investigations are ongoing to fully establish this.
'Our immediate concerns are for the affected student and family, along with the health and continued wellbeing of our staff, students and visitors.
'We are working closely with NHS services and Public Health England who are taking the lead in responding to the case. 'Concerned students can call the special helpline this weekend on 01904 809571.
Students said the outbreak of the virus had resulted in racism towards Chinese students in York.
Nick Lunn, 23, a physics student from Skipton, North Yorkshire, said: 'If you go through university pages on Facebook there is a clear racial sentiment.
'People don't feel comfortable around them [Chinese students] and it's not right.
'I've seen some people look genuinely scared around a Chinese student wearing a mask.'
Chay Quinn, 21, from Dartford, Kent, who is the editor of the York Vision student paper, said: 'I hope this isn't used a platform to marginalise Chinese students.
'They already feel like they can't engage with the rest of the student population.'
He added he felt the university didn't inform students as quickly as they could.
He said: 'I wish they would have told us sooner because we needed to know.
'PHE need to let us know why it's a low risk so we can understand and calm down.'
A student at York, who asked to remain anonymous, told MailOnline: 'The university have been sending out the occasional email and informed us this morning about the infected student who attended York. But they told us the risk of it spreading was very low.
'I highly doubt this though and feel like the university are trying to downplay everything going on for our own sanity.
'We've barely been informed about anything that will happen to protect us. My seminars and lectures are all still running where hundreds of students gather in small lecture rooms. A very likely place to spread diseases. I feel like no one is really addressing the matter with us properly either and we are being left in the dark about what is happening.'
At the University of Derby, a spokeswoman confirmed to MailOnline a number of students had been 'self-isolating' for 14 days but noted all were 'currently fit and well.
She said: 'We have a very small number of students who travelled back from Wuhan before the travel restrictions were put in place. They are self-isolating for the required 14 day period and are being supported by our student living and wellbeing teams. All are currently fit and well.
'Our Student Wellbeing team is in regular contact with Public Health England. We are ensuring that all our staff and students are aware of their advice and are providing frequent updates.
'In common with all other UK universities, we are in close contact with our Chinese students both here in the UK and those who remain in China due to the travel restrictions.'
The hotel firm where the two confirmed British coronavirus patients were staying has said the apartment involved has been thoroughly disinfected and PHE has been providing support.
The two patients are being treated by Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in its specialist Airborne High Consequences Infectious Disease Centre (HCID).
Hubei province residents, disembarking a chartered Xiamen Airline plane, arrive at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China today
People arrive from the Hubei province at a checkpoint at the Jiujiang Yangtze River Bridge in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of a new coronavirus, February 1
Customers queue up to buy masks amid the coronavirus outbreak in Hong Kong. Across the globe people have been buying up masks in a bid to protect themselves from the virus
An employee uses a thermometer to check the temperature of a customer at a restaurant following the outbreak of coronavirus in Hong Kong
French nationals repatriated from Wuhan, China, amid the new coronavirus outbreak, get off the plane at Istres Air Base, near Marseille, France yesterday (images were released by French officials today)
Notices referring to the coronavirus are pinned to the door of the Family Practice Western College in Hampton Road in Bristol. The surgery appears to be closed despite the sign saying it is open on Saturday mornings
This is the moment two medics wearing heavy-duty hazmat suits sweep through the lobby of a York hotel where a couple of Chinese coronavirus victims were staying
The pair - two members of the same family - are being treated at a specialist unit in Newcastle
Wuhan evacuee Ben Kavanagh last night shared an image from inside the quarantine as he and 82 others spend their first night locked in a nurses' accommodation block
Workmen move a fencing panel at Arrowe Park Hospital in Merseyside, outside the block where British nationals from the coronavirus-hit city of Wuhan in China are being quarantined
Police officers patrol at Arrowe Park Hospital in Merseyside, outside the block where British nationals from the coronavirus-hit city of Wuhan in China are being quarantined
Supplies, including fresh milk, bread & crisps, are wheeled into the accommodation block housing the quarantined Brits from coronavirus hit China at the Arrowe Park Hospital site in Merseyside today
It comes after dramatic footage emerged yesterday showing medics in hazmat suits entering the Staycity hotel in York where the two Chinese tourists were.
It is believed the medics were deployed to the hotel as part of a cranked-up manhunt to find anyone who came into contact with the two coronavirus patients.
Separately, the Department of Health confirmed it was still trying to contact 438 travellers who have arrived here from Wuhan in the past three weeks. An appeal went out this week urging them to self-isolate for 14 days.
Adam Bridgeman, 33, his Chinese wife Su and son Austin are stuck in the quarantined city after they were given just two hours notice to escape on Thursday.
He had pledged to stay after he was told seats on a plane to RAF Brize Norton were only for British citizens - meaning his spouse and child would have to stay behind.
But he received a call at 11.15pm Thursday saying the family could fly back to the UK - but only had until 1am Friday to get to Wuhan Tianhe International Airport.
Adam Bridgeman, 33, his Chinese wife Su and son Austin are stuck in the quarantined city after they were given just two hours notice to escape
Mr Bridgeman said it was impossible to clear their flat in time - but the Foreign Office called again saying the rescue flight was delayed and sent a taxi for them.
By the time the car turned up it was too late for check-in, leaving them stranded.
The father, whose son was born two days before the coronavirus outbreak, is now worried about the health of his baby boy.
He told the Times: 'The main concern then is that Austin will need some medical attention.
'We don't want to go to a hospital because of the virus. Most shops are shut. The variety of food we have access to is noticeably reducing.'
Ben Williams, who had been in Wuhan getting married and on honeymoon, said he had to leave his new Chinese wife behind after being given short notice to get to the plane.
He told the BBC there had been delays in getting paperwork and mistakes in communication between embassies.
He said: 'By the time we got out the door it was very much a close call to get to the meeting point to get on this flight and sadly my wife has nothing prepared and it wasn't right for her to enter the UK with essentially nothing.'
The hotel remained open on Friday because officials reportedly refused to tell the owners their guests were the coronavirus patients.
Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, blasted the Government's 'worrying' response after it emerged the hotel has remained open since a Chinese man fell ill there on Wednesday night and rooms can still be booked.
Fris Ilfifi, 30, who recently arrived from Saudi Arabia to study for a chemistry PhD at York University, was among those staying at the hotel when medics rushed in.
She told the Sun: 'I saw the man. He was sitting at reception. Two medics went to his room and tested him.
'When I checked at reception, they told me it was normal flu. Guests were not in masks. Everything was carrying on as normal.
'I was scared then, and now. I'm trying to find somewhere else to stay.'
York's rich history makes it a hugely popular stop for visitors on tours of Britain and Europe.
Concerned guests began to check out yesterday afternoon after learning of the coronavirus link at the aparthotel, just outside the Roman walls of the tourist hotspot.
Michiela Saunders, 26, of Bishop Auckland, demanded a refund and checked out and has spoke of her fury that no-one warned her of the cases.
Other experts have warned ministers need to carry out 'detective work' in order to track down people who have been in contact with the confirmed cases.
The World Health Organisation has warned the never-before-seen virus – mainly spread through coughs and sneezes – can survive on surfaces such as tables and cutlery.
Around 2,000 people are thought to have jetted into Britain from Wuhan – the deserted city at the heart of the crisis – in the past three weeks, with hundreds still believed to be in the country.
It came as the UK Government's evacuation flight landed at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire yesterday afternoon containing 83 Britons.
One of the evacuees from coronavirus-hit Wuhan today shared a glimpse of what life is like inside quarantine as he and 82 others spend their first day inside a nurses' accommodation block in the Wirral.
Matt Raw, who was part of a group flown in from China on Friday over the coronavirus outbreak, revealed that he and others staying in the building can 'go outside for fresh air' and are treated to 'anything we ask for'.
The Briton, who is staying in the block alongside his wife, will be holed up in the building at the side of Arrowe Park Hospital for 14 days - after which they will be allowed to leave provided they are clear of the virus.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast this morning, Mr Raw said: 'Every single thing that we have asked for we get. There is an army of people here who are looking after us extremely well. They are running out and buying everything.
'They've bought us televisions, radios. You name it. Anything we've asked for, they've bought for us.'
Also staying in Mr Raw's four-bedroom apartment is his mother, who has her own room, and a mother and her daughter, who also have another room - leaving one empty room in the flat.
'There is a another room, I think it is a quarantine bedroom, in the event that somebody does become sick,' Mr Raw added.
'We are allowed to have contact with anybody within the facility as long as we're wearing face masks. We can go outside and get some fresh air.
'We can open the windows and get some fresh air. We're being looked after to the absolute maximum that anyone can possibly expect.'
Matt Raw, who was part of a group flown in from China on Friday over the coronavirus outbreak, revealed that he and other quarantined passengers can 'go outside for fresh air' and are treated to 'anything we ask for'
The Briton shared images of inside the quarantined room, showing toiletries and a brand new television left on a chest of drawers in the building
Mr Raw revealed that he can cook for himself inside the apartment, which he shares with his wife, mother and a woman and her daughter. There is a dishwasher, toaster and oven included in the apartment
A woman and her daughter are also staying alongside Mr Raw in the hospital accommodation block. The woman asked to say hello to her husband live on the show
Workmen clean dirty apartment blocks at Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral this morning, where British citizens flown out of Wuhan will be quarantined for at least a fortnight
Cleaners use a jet wash to clean the outside of a block at Arrowe Park Hospital in Merseyside today. The outside of the building appears as if it hasn't been washed in some time - but is now suddenly getting a sprucing up as British evacuees from Wuhan are set to stay for 14 days
Coaches used to transport British nationals from RAF Brize Norton to Arrowe Park Hospital in Merseyside sit parked in the hospital's staff car park today. The coaches where used to transport Britons who are now under quarantine following their return from the coronavirus-hit city of Wuhan in China
The number of Chinese students at UK universities has soared in recent years, and they are of increasing importance to the nation's higher education system.
In 2018/19, China sent more students to study at UK institutions than any other overseas country, according to data published earlier this month by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa).
Overall, a third of all international students, from countries outside the EU, are now from the Asian nation.
Chinese students are of 'phenomenal importance' to UK higher education, second only to British students, one expert said.
Unlike tuition fees for UK and EU undergraduates, which are capped at a maximum of £9,250, charges for those coming from nations outside the EU - including China - vary, and are typically considerably higher, as are those for post-graduate study.
An analysis of official data, published by the Times Higher Education magazine, found that in 2017/18, Chinese student fees were worth around £1.7 billion to UK higher education.
At five institutions, the analysis calculated more than 10% of all income came from these students.
Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, said: 'Chinese students are phenomenally important, second only to British students in terms of importance.'
During Theresa May's tenure as Home Secretary and then Prime Minister, overall demand from international students for a UK university education fell, Mr Hillman said, in part due to visa rules.
But while numbers from many places, including the Indian sub-continent, stalled, demand from China bucked the trend, with numbers growing, he added.
'We are now more reliant on Chinese students because they are a bigger proportion of all students coming here,' Mr Hillman said, adding that the expectation was that the numbers would continue to grow.
The latest Hesa data showed that in 2018/19, 35% of all non-EU students were from China.
This proportion had increased by a third over a five-year period.
In 2018/19, 120,385 Chinese students came to the UK to study, up from 89,540 in 2014/15.
A number of UK institutions now have close links with China and its universities.
Both Nottingham University and Liverpool University have set up campuses in the country, while Birmingham University now accepts the Chinese national college entrance exam, known as Gaokao, for top Chinese students who want to join its undergraduate courses.
In a video blog from inside his room Mr Raw also told the Guardian: 'They've actually put a bag here containing various essentials that we might need - underwear and things that people might not have had time to pack.
'It's a perfectly