We have been working in close collaboration with international colleagues and the World Health Organization to monitor the situation in China and around the world.
In light of the increasing number of cases in China and using existing and widely tested models, the 4 UK Chief Medical Officers consider it prudent for our governments to escalate planning and preparation in case of a more widespread outbreak.
For that reason, we are advising an increase of the UK risk level from low to moderate. This does not mean we think the risk to individuals in the UK has changed at this stage, but that government should plan for all eventualities.
As we have previously said, it is likely there will be individual cases and we are confident in the ability of the NHS in England, Scotland and Wales and HSC in Northern Ireland to manage these in a way that protects the public and provides high quality care.
Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty
Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton
Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, Dr Catherine Calderwood
Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, Dr Michael McBride