The third person to have been diagnosed with coronavirus in the UK is believed to have caught the disease in Singapore.

It comes as Japan reported 41 new cases of the illness on a quarantined cruise ship near Yokohama. Before the new cases, 20 infected passengers had been escorted off the Diamond Princess.

Meanwhile, a Chinese doctor who had been threatened by police after sounding the alarm about the coronavirus died. The illness has killed 636 people and infected 31,161, with 260 cases recorded outside of China.

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UK government urges travellers from Asian countries to self-isolate

The government is urging travellers from countries including Thailand, Singapore, Japan and South Korea to self-isolate if they begin to feel unwell. Other countries on the list are Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Macau, as well as mainland China.

Anyone arriving from these locations should stay indoors and avoid contact with other people if they develop symptoms such as a cough, fever or shortness of breath, the advice warns.

The warning, posted on the government website, says: “These countries have been identified because of the volume of air travel from affected areas, understanding of other travel routes and number of reported cases. This list will be kept under review.”

Until Thursday, this advice only related to people travelling from Wuhan in China.


Pangolin identified as possible coronavirus host


The pangolin is one of Asia’s most trafficked animals (Reuters)

The deadly coronavirus outbreak could have spread from bats to humans through the illegal trade of pangolins, Chinese researchers have said.


The world’s only scaly mammals, which are prized in Asia for food and medicine, are one of Asia’s most trafficked mammals despite being protected by international law.

“This latest discovery will be of great significance for the prevention and control of the origin (of the virus),” South China Agricultural University, which led the research, said in a statement on its website.

The outbreak is believed to have started in a market in the city of Wuhan, in central Hubei province that also sold live wild animals. Health experts think it may have originated in bats and then passed to humans, possibly via another species.


Thousands of people on the quarantined cruise ship have been restricted to their cabins after more than 61 people on board were diagnosed with coronavirus, Zoe Tidman reports:



Death of doctor who raised alarm sparks outcry

Dr Li sounded an early warning about the coronavirus outbreak (AP)

The death of a doctor who was threatened by police after raising an early alarm about the coronavirus has sparked an outcry in China.

Dr Li Wenliang, 34, had worked at a hospital in the epicenter of the outbreak in the central city of Wuhan.

He was one of eight medical professionals in Wuhan who tried to warn colleagues and others when the government did not, writing on his Twitter-like Weibo account that on 3 December he saw a test sample that indicated the presence of a coronavirus similar to Sars, which killed nearly 800 people in a 2002-2003 outbreak that the government initially tried to cover-up.

Dr Li wrote that after he reported seven patients had contracted the virus, he was visited on 3 January by police, who forced him to sign a statement admitting to having spread falsehoods and warning him of punishment if he continued.

A copy of the statement signed by Dr Li and posted online accused him of making “false statements” and “seriously disturbing social order.”

“This is a type of illegal behavior!” the statement said.


British man contracts coronavirus on cruise ship

The ‘Diamond Princess’ (EPA)

A British passenger on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship is among those who tested positive for coronavirus.

The British man was on his honeymoon and will be separated from his wife, a fellow passenger has said.

David Abel said in a video update posted on Facebook that he had been dining with the man, who was not named.

“He will almost certainly be leaving the ship today – real, real shame. I have no idea how he must be feeling … they’re on their honeymoon.

“He will be going off in to quarantine in a medical facility and she has to stay on board the ship because she’s not displaying symptoms.

“That’s going to be really, really tough for him so just bear a thought for these passengers who just don’t know what is going to be lying ahead of them.”


Japan reports 41 new cases on quarantined cruise ship


Passengers of the ‘Diamond Princess’ cruise ship on their cabins’ balconies (EPA)

Japan has reported 41 new cases on a luxury liner with thousands of passengers and crew on board.

Before Friday, 20 infected passengers had been escorted off the Diamond Princess at Yokohama, near Tokyo.

At least four other cruise ships, two foreign and two Japanese-operated, are headed to Japan by the end of the month, transport minister Kazuyoshi Akaba said, urging port authorities around the country to turn them away.



Third UK case thought to have caught coronavirus in Singapore

The third person to have been diagnosed with coronavirus in the UK is believed to have caught the illness in Singapore.

The patient is reported to be a middle aged British man, and is understood to be the first UK national to contract the disease.

He is thought to have been diagnosed in Brighton and was transferred St Thomas’ Hospital in London, where there is an infectious disease unit, on Thursday afternoon.

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