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Coronavirus: risk of spread and impact now ‘very high at global level’, warns WHO – latest updates | World news

12.48pm EST 12:48 Boris Johnson says coronavirus is now UK government’s top priority Boris Johnson has said that taking measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus is his government’s top priority and that the public is right to be concerned, in his first television appearance to talk about the issue. The prime minister said:

Boris Johnson says coronavirus is now UK government’s top priority




Surrey GP “is latest UK coronavirus infection”

A GP in Surrey is being taken to one of the UK’s six specialist centres for infectious diseases amid fears he is the latest British case of coronavirus, Denis Campbell, the Guardian’s health policy editor, reports.

The development is understood to have triggered an urgent investigation to see if any of his patients have the coronavirus too.

The case – which would be the 20th to emerge in the UK – has prompted particular concern among health officials trying to limit the spread of Covid-19.

The GP would routinely have seen scores of patients over the course of the last week before he became ill in the last 24 hours.

His diagnosis has yet to be publicly confirmed by Public Health England (PHE), NHS England or the Department of Health and Social Care. Public health chiefs are also worried by the unnamed doctor’s diagnosis because his wife is also a GP.

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Ofqual, the exam regulator for England, says it is considering how to manage the dangers of a coronavirus outbreak disrupting this summer’s GCSE and A-level exams, Richard Adams, education editor, reports.

Students are due to sit A-levels – crucial for university entry – in May and June, but a widespread outbreak of Covid-19 at that point could mean that, in worst-case scenarios, students and staff may be unable to take the exams due to illness or quarantine restrictions.

In a statement Ofqual said: “We are working closely with awarding organisations and the Department for Education to consider how to manage any particular risks to the smooth running of exams and assessments should there be a widespread outbreak of coronavirus.

“We will update our existing guidance to reflect any specific arrangements schools and colleges should put in place if required. In the meantime, students, schools and colleges should continue to prepare for the summer exams and assessments as usual.”

A-levels and GCSEs are taken from the second week of May until the middle of June, with exam results published in mid-August. Disrupted A-level results could complicate the process of university applications, which rely in most cases on students gaining specific exam results. But in a period of difficulty universities may use other methods to allot places, such as previous exam results.


WHO: risk of global spread ‘very high’


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Susan E. Lopez

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