British citizens who were left stranded in Wuhan after missing the first airlift out of the coronavirus-hit city have now been rescued and will touch down in the UK today.
This second batch of evacuees will join 83 patients currently quarantined in Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral following their rescue from the embattled Hubei province, where last night the number of deaths jumped to 294.
In a leaked email seen by the Liverpool Echo, the medical compound's chief executive Janelle Holmes told staff: 'I wanted you to be amongst the first to know that tomorrow morning we will be receiving an additional group of citizens from Wuhan.
'We were asked to accommodate a small number of UK citizens who did not make the flight on Thursday from China with the last group.
'The same safe-guarding arrangements and support are being put in place to get them here that were used for the first group of guests.'
It is not clear how many patients form this second wave, but the hospital boss does reveal that none of them are displaying any symptoms - yet the infection does have a 14-day incubation period during which time the bug can still spread.
The first group of evacuees were flown to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire before being whisked 170 miles to the North West in a convey of buses driven by drivers who bizarrely did not wear face masks.
The identities of the evacuees remain closely guarded by Public Health England, but many who missed out on Thursday's airlift have since been critical of the government that they were denied a spot.
Adam Bridgeman spoke of being stranded with his Chinese wife and newborn baby after being given less than two hours' notice that his ride out of the locked-down city was taking off.
He pledged to stay after he was told that seats on jumbo jet were only for British citizens - meaning his spouse and child would have to stay behind.
British academic Michael Pattison, who has lived in Wuhan for 15 years, revealed the shambolic evacuation arrangements and said: 'I only received the official travel documents seven minutes before the deadline to get to the muster point which was 25 miles away in a city that's in total lockdown with virtually no transport available'.
And, seeming to lay bare the bungled rescue operation, Ben Kavanagh posted a picture of himself being flown out of Wuhan on an empty plane.
Adam Bridgeman is stuck in Wuhan after being given just a few hours to get to the airport after the Foreign Office changed their minds and offered him, his Chinese wife and baby a seat on a flight to Britain - but they and others failed to get there on time
Natalie Francis and her son Jamie are part of a group of 83 evacuees from Wuhan who are being quarantined for 14 days inside Arrowe Park Hospital in the Wirral 'behind a locked door'
People in Hazmat suits at Wuhan airport, where a second batch of Britons will be airlifted back to the UK
Ben Kavanagh posted an eerie selfie of him on the largely empty rescue aircraft, captioned with a joke saying: 'Group selfie of me and my friends'. Academic Michael Pattison revealed he was given just seven minutes to make the flight
The evacuees will join 83 patients currently quarantined in Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral (pictured) following their rescue from the embattled Hubei province, where last night the number of deaths jumped to 294
The second flight of citizens prepared to arrive on UK soil as:It emerged there are fewer than 30 special isolation beds in hospitals across the UK designed for quarantines such as the coronavirus;The Foreign Office said it was withdrawing staff from China and its ability to provide help to Britons in the country may be 'limited';A second airlift evacuation of Britons trapped in Wuhan, the city at the epicentre of the virus, was imminentThe US government declared a 'public health emergency', banning foreign nationals who have travelled to China from entering;Australia and Israel followed suit, flouting World Health Organisation advice that such measures were not necessary;Vietnam halted all air travel to China while Italy became the first EU country to ban incoming flights.
Using tissues to catch a cough or sneeze, and washing your hands regularly are key to helping slow the spread of coronavirus, a new public health campaign advises.
Adverts telling people what they can do to help protect themselves are appearing on social media, in newspapers and on the radio from Sunday as part of a Government-funded effort in the fight against the virus which has killed more than 250 people in China.
The UK-wide ads warn people to always carry tissues and use them when coughing or sneezing, bin the tissue, and wash their hands with soap and water or use sanitiser gel.
The NHS and Government-branded advice will also be targeted at outlets and online forums Chinese nationals in the UK are known to read and listen to.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said while the UK's 'highly trained and experienced clinicians are working round the clock' to prevent the spread of the illness, the general public can play its part.
'Basic hygiene such as washing our hands regularly and using tissues when we cough and sneeze can play an important role in minimising the spread of viruses like this,' he said.
'Today we have launched a UK-wide advertising campaign to help the public protect themselves and each other.'
Back in the UK, students at one of Britain's most prestigious universities yesterday found themselves under the shadow of the global coronavirus outbreak last night after one tested positive for the virus.
A male student and his mother –both Chinese – became the first two cases to be confirmed in Britain, leaving students and staff at the University of York, part of the elite Russell Group, feeling 'very, very frightened'.
The pair were taken ill at a budget hotel in the city centre on Wednesday night and were last night being cared for in a special NHS isolation unit in Newcastle.
A source told The People that it was likely any visiting family had been here for at least a week - and could have come into contact with thousands of other people.
The University of York emailed students telling them that while the news would cause 'concern and anxiety', the risk of infection was low.
But tensions on the campus were evident in a Facebook post and email from ten days ago that raised concerns about a Chinese student with 'a fever'.
The university said that incident had been investigated and was not connected with the recent case.
As the official death toll in China from the virus rose to 294, the UK Government launched an urgent public information campaign.
People were advised to 'carry tissues' to cover coughs or sneezes in nationwide advertisements.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: 'Our world-class NHS is well prepared to manage these types of incidents. We are doing everything we can to protect the public.'
A spokesman for York University said the student diagnosed with coronavirus – who had been with his mother at the £71-a-night Staycity apartment-hotel – was not believed to have come into contact with anyone on campus while they had symptoms. Health chiefs confirmed on Friday that both had both tested positive.
The university advised people concerned about their health to call 111. It also set up its own call centre. A spokesman said: 'Our immediate concerns are for the affected student and family, along with the health and continued wellbeing of our staff, students and visitors.'
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
Students wear face masks around campus at the University of York today as fears heightened over the spread of coronavirus
University of York Vice-Chancellor Professor Charlie Jeffery (pictured) said he wished to provide reassurance for students and staff
You may have heard through media reports that two cases of coronavirus have been identified in York.
Public Health England (PHE) has now confirmed that one of the two individuals to have tested positive for coronavirus is a student at the University of York.
We recognise that this will cause concern to our community.
We want to reassure you that PHE has advised us that the risk of infection being passed to others on campus is extremely 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.
Additional information and any updates, as they are made available from PHE or any other health service, will be posted on our coronavirus updates webpage here: https://www.york.ac.uk/alert/.
This web page also contains a set of FAQs regarding coronavirus and you are advised to check this page if you have any queries.
We are working closely with NHS services and Public Health England who are taking the lead in responding to the case and we will take direction from them in all aspects of this situation.
Heidi Fraser-Krauss Deputy Registrar and Director of Corporate and Information Services
But The Mail on Sunday yesterday found that students – many wearing surgical facemasks – were extremely concerned. One 19-year-old undergraduate said: 'I cannot stop thinking about this and it is totally freaking me out.'
Students had recently celebrated the Chinese New Year at a special gala event held at York's Barbican centre, close to the Staycity hotel.
A male student said: 'This is all anyone has been talking about. We are very worried.'
Public Health England (PHE) was continuing to seek people who had close contact – defined as being within two metres for 15 minutes – with the infected pair.
Staff at the Staycity said the mother and student checked in on Wednesday, but the man had fallen ill and called an ambulance. Hotel manager Nasser Shaher sought to calm guests, including one who recently underwent chemotherapy and was worried about her weakened immune system. Mr Shaher said he had been told by PHE that the risk was 'minimal' and the apartment involved had been thoroughly disinfected.
Meanwhile, Oxford University mathematician Dr Robin Thompson, who specialises in infectious diseases, forecast a one-in-three chance of a coronavirus outbreak in the UK.
His calculations are based on an estimate that 20 per cent of new Wuhan coronavirus infections are passed on by those not exhibiting symptoms. The other factor is how long the two diagnosed here were symptomatic before seeking medical help.
In China it has typically been a couple of days and Dr Thompson said that in those circumstances, the risk of a 'sustained transmission chain' arising from the pair was around 37 per cent.
The Foreign Office yesterday announced it was withdrawing some staff from China and warned its ability to provide help to Britons in the country may be 'limited'. UK Ministers said another plane will be sent to Wuhan to rescue British citizens if needed.
Chris Hill, 38, from Sunderland who remained in Wuhan instead of leaving his Chinese wife behind, said: 'She is a nurse and is not able to get the time off and will not abandon her parents.
'I am not willing to leave her behind and take my daughter.'
Adam Bridgeman, 33, and his Chinese wife Su and son Austin missed Friday's flight out of Wuhan. He fears food may soon run out. 'The main concern then is that Austin will need some medical attention,' he said. '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.'
Tough measures to insulate students and staff were also imposed at the University of Derby, which began isolating anyone who returned from Wuhan, where the virus spawned, in the last 14 days.
It came as the number of confirmed cases in China rose to 11,791 today, surpassing the number in the 2002-03 outbreak of Sars.
The spread of this grave global health emergency has also sent alarm bells ringing in British boarding schools which are banning their Chinese pupils from returning home in the upcoming half-term holidays.
Hereford Cathedral School was one of the first to declare all planned visits home have been scrapped, while a senior source at a top boarding school told MailOnline: 'I doubt many, if any, schools will be sending pupils back at half term.
'All of ours are not returning, including some from Thailand. They added: 'As this spreads worldwide do we try to limit movement of anyone, anywhere?'
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
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.
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.
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