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Four people in Scotland tested for China coronavirus

A passenger wearing a mask gestures as they arrive at Manila's international airport, Philippines, Thursday, January 23, 2020. The government is closely monitoring arrival of passengers as a new coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China has infected hundreds and caused deaths in that area. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) 

Four people in Scotland are being tested for suspected coronavirus after travelling to the country from Wuhan, China, according to the head of infection medicine at the University of Edinburgh. 

Professor Jurgen Haas said he believes there will be many more cases from other cities in the UK.

He said three cases are in Edinburgh and the other is believed to be in Glasgow.

Tests are currently being carried out and none of the patients have been confirmed as having the disease.

They all travelled to Scotland from Wuhan, where the outbreak is thought to have originated, within the past two weeks and are showing symptoms of respiratory trouble, a red flag for the virus.

Professor Haas told the PA news agency: "We have currently three cases suspected Wuhan coronavirus in Edinburgh and as far as I understand one case in Glasgow."

He said the cases emerged overnight, adding: "The situation will be pretty similar in pretty much all UK cities with a large number of Chinese students.

"It's not too surprising. My suspicious is that there will probably be many more cases in many other cities in the UK.

"None of the cases I know of have been confirmed."

He said there is only one laboratory testing for the virus, operated by Public Health England (PHE).

The professor said the cases have been flagged up through the PHE infection guidelines as they travelled to Wuhan within the last 14 days and are showing signs of respiratory symptoms.

The disease has killed 17 people and infected nearly 600.

The Chinese government has effectively locked down Wuhan, cancelling planes and trains there and in the nearby city of Huanggang.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was questioned about the risk to people in Scotland at First Minister's Questions at the Scottish parliament today.

She the situation is being closely monitored, adding: "I should say, that the risk to the public here in Scotland - and indeed the UK - is currently classified as low but that is kept under review."

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