Coronavirus cases outside China are rapidly increasing. Several European countries have announced their first cases this week with Italy confirming more than 350 cases of the deadly virus.

In the UK, several schools have closed after pupils returned from skiing trips in northern Italy.

As of 2pm on Wednesday, 7,132 tests for the virus had been carried out in the UK.

Only 13 have so far come back positive, including four people who returned from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.

In total, there have been more than 80,000 cases of coronavirus confirmed across the world, mainly in China.

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How to test for coronavirus

In the UK, people being tested for coronavirus have been extended to include people displaying flu-like symptoms at 100 GP surgeries and eight hospitals across Britain.

Public Health England said the tests would provide an “early warning” if the virus was spreading.

This could mean hundreds more people will be tested for coronavirus each week.

The NHS has started pilots of home testing for coronavirus where NHS staff, including nurses and paramedics, will visit people in their own homes rather than them having to travel.

Professor Keith Willett, NHS strategic incident director for coronavirus said: “We have started to pilot home testing for coronavirus in London, which will be carried out by NHS staff, like nurses or paramedics, allowing people to stay home rather than having to travel, which is safer for you and your family and limits the spread of infection.

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“Anyone who is concerned they have signs and symptoms, should continue to use NHS 111 as their first point of contact – they will tell you what you exactly what you need to do and where necessary, the right place to be tested.

“People should also play their part by following public health advice – wash your hands, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze, and put used tissues in the bin immediately.

“I would also like to thank the NHS staff who are back in Arrowe Park ready to provide excellent care and support to the British nationals who are returning from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.”

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