First coronavirus case confirmed in London

– Victim flew to UK from China, where she is suspected of having caught virus

By Karim El-Bar

LONDON (AA) – The first reported case of the coronavirus was confirmed Wednesday in the British capital London, according to local media.

The victim is a woman thought to have flown to the U.K. from China, where she is suspected to have contracted the virus. She is being treated in a London hospital.

Earlier this week, the British government declared that the coronavirus was a “serious and imminent” threat to public health.

“One further patient in England has tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total number of cases in the U.K. to nine,” said Britain’s Chief Medical Officer, Prof. Chris Whitty.

“This virus was passed on in China, and the patient has now been transferred to a specialist NHS centre at Guy's and St Thomas' in central London,” he added.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said that from an economic perspective, the virus has overtaken SARS.

The total number of deaths worldwide has passed 1,100, with the overall number of cases near 45,000. The pace of new infections seems to be slowing, however.