PUBLISHED: 16:35, Tue, Mar 3, 2020 | UPDATED: 16:50, Tue, Mar 3, 2020
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has infected more than 92,000 people globally and “widespread transmission” is looking increasingly likely in the UK. On Tuesday, March 3, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Government is planning “for the worst” but working “for the best”.
Addressing the House of Commons, Mr Hancock said: “Mr Speaker, the UK is well prepared for infectious disease outbreaks of this kind.
“The international data continue to indicate that for most people, this disease is mild and the vast majority recover in full.
“We have responded to a wide range of disease outbreaks in the recent past. The NHS has been preparing for a virus for over a decade.”
The novel coronavirus strain, SARS-CoV-2, has killed at least 3,132 since December last year, the majority of whom were in China.
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Coronavirus UK symptoms: More people in the UK are becoming infected (Image: PA/JOHNS HOPKINS)
Coronavirus map: Countries with confirmed COVID-19 infections (Image: EXPRESS)
COVID-19 is the respiratory disease triggered by a dangerous pathogen that first appeared in China’s Wuhan City last year.
The virus, which belongs to the coronavirus family, attacks the respiratory system with flu-like symptoms.
The first stage of infection typically affects patients with a dry cough, fever and fatigue.
Symptoms can then develop into pneumonia, severe respiratory disease and kidney failure.
The disease has so far proven deadliest among the elderly and patients with underlying medical problems.
How is the coronavirus transmitted? How