Extra precaution is being taken to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, as the spread of the disease increases outside of mainland China. 

As of Tuesday, February 25, the number of cases outside China outnumbered those within the country, where the virus originated.

The virus, which was discovered in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has now reached more than 55 countries.

Yesterday saw Ireland hit by the disease, and today the first case in Wales has been confirmed, alongside two more patients in England, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to 19, according to the department of health and social care.   

New countries are being hit every day, and the World Health Organisation has advised  airports to screen people showing symptoms. Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said the disease has “pandemic potential.” 

The UK government has said that it is “well prepared” to deal with the outbreak, with health secretary Matt Hancock announcing a four part plan. 

So far there are no confirmed cases in Cornwall. 

A number of Cornish secondary schools have expressed concern after students have returned for ski trips in Northern Italy. 

Truro and Penwith College stated that it had received “a considerable number of calls”  following a half-term student ski trip to the Italian Alps 

The school said in a statement: 

”The College is following current WHO and Public Health England advice that only those who have travelled to areas north of Pisa and are displaying symptoms should self-isolate. The College’s senior managers are staying as up-to-date as possible on developments and ongoing advice and are in a position to react promptly to any relevant updates as and when necessary.” 

Similarly, Head Teacher James Davidson of Penair school said: 

“Further to information shared with all parents and carers this morning, we have been in communication with Public Health England throughout the morning discussing details of the areas visited by our ski party.  

They have now updated their advice and confirmed that the children and staff can return to school.  They have stated that if students or staff develop any symptoms relating to the coronavirus they should isolate immediately and call 111.