A British teacher who spent the last decade in Wuhan fears he may be spreading coronavirus throughout the UK after being turned away for tests by NHS 111.
David Marland, 34, lived just five minutes from the seafood market thought to be at the centre of the outbreak and walked through it nearly every day.
At least one person in his apartment block has tested positive for the deadly illness that has killed 81 people in less than a month.
Mr Marland, from Buckinghamshire, called the NHS helpline as soon as he stepped off a plan at Gatwick Airport from Dubai, via Hong Kong and the Chinese city of Shenzhen, last week.
He expected to be hauled in immediately for tests, but was only asked if he had ‘the sniffles’. Mr Marland was told to only call back if he began to feel unwell.
Despite the strict guidance to try to contain the virus, one British teacher, David Marland (pictured), who has spent the last decade in Wuhan fears he may be spreading the virus throughout the UK because he claims he was given the wrong advice by an NHS 111 operator
He lived just five minutes from the seafood market thought to be at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak and walked through it nearly every day
Mr Marland claims he called the helpline as soon as he stepped off a plan at Gatwick Airport from Dubai, via Hong Kong and the Chinese city of Shenzhen, last week
That was despite the recent discovery that patients can be infectious without showing any symptoms.
Carriers can spread the disease for up to two weeks before symptoms show, according to Chinese officials.
Mr Marland told the newspaper: ‘I’m potentially a risk to other people. I’m still within the two-week period so I could be spreading the disease everywhere without having any symptoms.
‘Maybe I should be staying away from people, but no one has told me to. They haven’t given me any advice at all.
‘I’m just getting on with my life – what else am I supposed to do?’ He accused the NHS operator of just ‘ticking boxes’ and ‘leaving the door open’ to the killer virus.
He expected to be called in immediately for tests, but was only asked if he had ‘the sniffles’ and to only call back if he began to feel unwell
NHS sources said the operator had correctly followed advice – which comes from Public Health England and says to ring if you ‘develop a fever, difficulty breathing or a cough’
But NHS sources told The Telegraph that the operator had correctly followed advice – which comes from Public Health England and says to ring if you ‘develop a fever, difficulty breathing or a cough’.
All of the UK patients who have already been tested for the virus have been found to be negative.
But a Public Health England boss last week warned it was ‘highly likely’ the never-before-seen virus will eventually come to the UK, as the infection continues to rampage across China.
Home Secretary Priti Patel yesterday revealed the Government was ‘looking at all options’ to help Britons leave Wuhan.
China today extended its New Year holiday to fight the killer coronavirus outbreak which has killed 81 people and struck down more than 2,800 people. Cases have been spotted in Canada, US, France and Australia
Thermal scanning at Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport in Indonesia shows people’s temperatures beside their heads – those who have high temperatures will be checked to see if they have a fever
The rapid-build hospital in Wuhan started to take shape today, January 27, as hundreds of people work tirelessly to build the pre-fabricated structure in a matter of days
Foreign Office officials have reportedly prepared a charter flight for around 200 British citizens and diplomats trapped in Wuhan, where 11million are on lock-down. MailOnline has asked for an update.
The Department of Health is set to issue an update later this afternoon on the number of Britons who have been tested for the constantly-mutating virus, which experts have suggested may originally have come from bats or snakes and been passed to humans.
Scientists fear China’s status as a major superpower may have influenced the World Health Organisation’s decision not to declare the coronavirus outbreak as being an international emergency last week, with the UN-body saying it was ‘too early’ for such a decision.
Baffled experts warned the decision may have been influenced by China. Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, told The Daily Telegraph: ‘The criteria for declaring a public health emergency of international concern have been met.’
But ‘not all WHO decisions are made based on the developments in the biological world,’ he added.
It came after a top Chinese health official said that the new virus was becoming more contagious than SARS –from the same family of coronaviruses which killed nearly 650 people across Beijing and Hong Kong in 2003.