Coronavirus fears cause cancellation of Lion Yard’s Chinese New Year event

Fears over the outbreak are mounting


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There have been two confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the UK. Two members of the same family have contracted the disease. They were transferred to a specialist medical centre in Newcastle yesterday.

In China, events assembling more than 100 people have been banned to prevent contact; in a similar fashion, the Lion Gate shopping mall in Cambridge cancelled their Chinese New Years’ Event.

Lion Yard's manager Roger Allen has expressed his sincere apologies over the cancellation of the event, telling his Twitter followers the decision was made with the Cambridge Chinese Confederation.

There have been accusations of racism as a result of this decision, with Twitter replies to the above tweeting calling the decision "this is racism", "reactionary" and "completely unacceptable".

The virus has already infected more than 10 000 people in China, and caused at least 213 deaths since its outbreak in a Wuhan seafood market. In just ten days, the number of infected cases globally had risen to 8000. Travel has been severely affected with many cities closing their borders, such as Singapore. Medical professionals have been testing plane passengers for symptoms before departure.

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UK nationals in China felt left in the dark, and many took to the Internet to express their disappointment and worry in video clips. A plane was finally sent to Wuhan to evacuate 83 Britons and 27 foreign nationals, and it landed yesterday at RAF Brize Norton at 1:30pm. They are at a hospital in the Wirral where they will spend the next 14 days in quarantine.

Many countries have already evacuated nationals residing in Wuhan, such as France, Germany, and Italy, and the UK’s Foreign Office has been under intense pressure and public scrutiny to do the same.

The virus is airborne, meaning that if you breathe in droplets left in the expired air of a coronavirus-positive individual, you risk contracting it. This has led to many wearing breathing masks and even gloves. It is easier for elderly people with respiratory diseases to contract the disease, but you should still take precautions and stay safe, as a cough in an infected individual can lead to shortness of breath or pneumonia.

If you experience symptoms such as a fever or a cough, you are advised to call the NHS on 111 or call the GP for advice, or contact your college nurse.