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Two cases of coronavirus confirmed in UK, says chief medical officer

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This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Virginia Mayo
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Two cases of coronavirus are now confirmed in the UK, Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said in a statement on Friday.

"We can confirm that two patients in England, who are members of the same family, have tested positive for coronavirus," the statement said.

"The patients are receiving specialist NHS care, and we are using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus."

Authorities are now working to identify any contacts the patients had, to prevent further spread, Whitty said.

"We have been preparing for UK cases of novel coronavirus and we have robust infection control measures in place to respond immediately."

Other European countries also have confirmed a number of coronavirus cases on their territories.

So far, Germany has confirmed five cases, France six, Italy two and Findland one, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and control.

China has reported 9,692 confirmed cases with a death toll of 213 as of Friday, and the World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a global emergency.