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United Kingdom has 19 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus

FILE PHOTO – A woman wearing a protective mask travels on a Jubilee Line tube train in London, Britain, February 27, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) – The United Kingdom now has 19 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus after Wales identified its first case and two new cases were found in England, health authorities said on Friday.

“The total number of UK cases is 19,” the health ministry said.

Britain reported its first confirmed coronavirus case on Jan. 31.

The new coronavirus which emerged in Wuhan, China, in December has infected tens of thousands of people.

The virus – which causes a disease now called COVID-19 – is transmitted from person to person via droplets when an infected person breathes out, coughs or sneezes. It can also spread via contaminated surfaces such as door handles or railings.

Mainland China – where the virus originated late last year – reported 327 new cases, the lowest since Jan. 23, taking its tally to more than 78,800 cases with almost 2,800 deaths.

Beyond China, about 70 people have died so far due to the virus.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Kate Holton

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.