Chinese military medics working in Wuhan following Coronavirus outbreak 290120 CREDIT REUTERS NO RE USE AFTER 30 DAYS.jpg
China

Coronavirus: World Health Organisation Declares Global Emergency

The Foreign Secretary has said stranded Britons are to leave on an evacuation flight on Thursday night.

Chinese military medics working in Wuhan following Coronavirus outbreak 290120 CREDIT REUTERS NO RE USE AFTER 30 DAYS.jpg

The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, has said British nationals returning to the UK from the Chinese city at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak will leave on an evacuation flight on Thursday night.

The passengers are to be monitored by three military medical personnel on board.

It comes as the World Health Organisation has declared an international public health emergency over the outbreak.

The plane is due to land at RAF Brize Norton.

It is expected passengers will then to be taken to an NHS facility, thought to be former NHS staff accommodation, on the Wirral for a quarantine period of 14 days.

There, they will have access to medical staff, and it is understood they will have the internet and be able to make contact with their families.

It is believed other citizens, mainly from EU countries, will also on board the evacuation flight which is due to head to Spain afterwards.

Watch: 'Medical screening' to take place for passengers returning to the UK.

It is understood the flight is due to leave Wuhan city at 7am local time on Friday, which is 11pm on Thursday UK time.

In a statement, Mr Raab said: "We’ve been working with the Department of Health flat out, 24/7, to try and make sure we can identify British nationals in Wuhan, get them to a muster point and get them to a flight, a chartered flight in and out."

An aircraft was due to return on Thursday with 200 British nationals on board, but China refused it permission to leave.

In the Chinese city of Wuhan, the fight to contain the virus is intensifying.

Officials announced the death toll had risen to 170 people, with more than 7,700 cases confirmed.

The Wuhan strain is now more infectious than the SARS epidemic seven years ago, which killed 800 people.

The Chinese military has been called in as part of efforts to battle the virus.

Four cases have been confirmed in Germany, making it the second European country to report cases after France.

One hundred and thirty people have been tested for coronavirus in the UK so far, all of which came back negative.

Cover image: Chinese military medics working in Wuhan following Coronavirus outbreak.