At least three Chinese cities home to some 20 million people are on lockdown in an attempt to contain a deadly coronavirus originating in Wuhan. Hundreds of millions of people across the country are due to travel for Chinese New Year.
China announced that 634 cases have been confirmed so far, 17 of them deadly. The virus has now spread to at least eight other countries as far afield as the US, with four people displaying flu-like symptoms being tested in Scotland. UK scientists and politicians warned the true number of cases could be far higher.
Business secretary Andrea Leadsom urged the virus was of “huge concern for the world” and said the UK would be guided by world health authorities, as the United Nations was forced to delay a decision on whether to declare the outbreak an international public health emergency.