FIVE people are being tested for suspected coronavirus in Scotland, the Scottish Government confirmed last night. A spokesperson said it was monitoring the situation closely but stressed no cases had been confirmed and that the tests were precautionary.

The head of infection medicine at the University of Edinburgh, Professor Jurgen Haas, said earlier that four people were undergoing tests, three in the capital, with the fourth believed to be in Glasgow. A fifth was being tested in Northern Ireland. Haas said there likely to be many more suspected cases in the UK.

The patients being tested in Scotland had travelled from Wuhan in China, where the outbreak is thought to have originated, within the past two weeks and were showing the red-flag symptoms of respiratory trouble, Haas said. He added that the suspected cases emerged overnight. The Scottish Government spokesperson said: “There are currently no confirmed cases of Wuhan Novel coronavirus (WN Co-V) in Scotland and the risk to the Scottish public remains low.

“Following travel to Wuhan, China, two people confirmed as diagnosed with influenza are now being tested for coronavirus as a precautionary measure only. Three further people are also undergoing testing on a similar precautionary basis.

“We will update should there be any confirmed cases of coronavirus, rather than provide a running update on cases being considered on a precautionary basis. We are co-orientating, along with Health Protection Scotland, a daily incident management team to continue to monitor the situation as it develops, including on the number of any potential cases going forward.”

The spokesperson added: “We have robust arrangements to manage emerging diseases and are monitoring this situation closely. Anyone arriving at Heathrow from Wuhan and transferring to a flight to Scotland will, along with all other arriving passengers, be met by a health team from Public Health England at Heathrow who will check for symptoms.”