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Coronavirus: 47 new cases confirmed in UK, total infections stand at 163

News Agencies | Updated on: 7 March 2020, 9:46 IST

Britain has confirmed 47 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, bringing the country's total number of infections to 163, according to the country's health authorities. The latest figure includes 147 cases in England, 11 in Scotland, three in Northern Ireland and two in Wales, said the Department of Health and Social Care in a statement.

As of 9 am (local time) on Friday, 20,338 people have been tested in Britain, of which 20,175 were confirmed negative and 163 were confirmed positive. One patient who tested positive for the novel coronavirus has died.

Earlier in the day, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new funding package of 46 million pounds (around 60 million US dollars) for urgent work to find a coronavirus vaccine and develop a rapid test for the disease.

Currently, there are eight possible coronavirus vaccines under development and efforts are being made to get any viable vaccines from sequencing of the virus to clinical testing in under a year -- a record time frame, said the government in a statement.

"We are ensuring the country is prepared for the current outbreak, guided by the science at every stage. But we also need to invest now in researching the vaccines that could help prevent future outbreaks," said Johnson.

The government on Tuesday set out an action plan to tackle the spread of the virus. The plan has four strands: containing the virus, delaying its spread, researching its origins and cure, and finally mitigating the impact should the virus becomes more widespread.


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First published: 7 March 2020, 9:46 IST