On Friday evening, a storm of speculation hit Twitter after a section of Paddington Station had been cordoned off and pictures emerged showing a woman sitting on a seat surrounded by staff wearing face masks.
The news comes hot on the heels of reports that two cases of the much-feared virus have been confirmed by UK authorities. In that case, two Chinese tourists were tested positive for the virus during a holiday to the English city of York.
In a Tweet, one man named Mack Grenfell said, “London Paddington Station being cordoned off due to a suspected coronavirus case, what looks like a solo Asian traveler.”
Another individual said that, “half of station closed at Paddington - lone Chinese lady unwell and everyone in panic mode. Ambulance at scene.”
So there is a suspected corona virus case in Paddington pic.twitter.com/YJZm8oI15T— Ahsan (@nnaeeeem) February 1, 2020
If one person with coronavirus enters the central line, the whole london is catching it— ANDO🇬🇧 (@andoviews) January 28, 2020
so there could have been a corona virus case at Paddington Station 😆— kam (@kamsufc1) February 1, 2020
just found out i spent 10 minutes stood around on the concourse at paddington at the exact same time as a possible coronavirus patient was being cordoned off pic.twitter.com/S5vnZ9HQVN— skimblealex the railway alex, the alex of the rai (@Judoon_Platoon) February 1, 2020
Is the UK ALRIGHT??? About letting brits come back in and spread Coronavirus in West ldn??? In my own paddington station??— 🤸🏽♀️ (@thesouloflola) February 1, 2020
Emergency services have reportedly since confirmed that two individuals were taken to hospital from Paddington Station but have so far refused to comment on whether or not they are carriers of the coronavirus.
The only comments so far appear to have been obtained by the Daily Mail, in which a London Ambulance spokesperson reportedly said that, “we responded to a call at Paddington Station at 10:52pm on 31 January. We sent two ambulances to the scene and took two people to hospital.”
So far, the Department of Health and Social Care said they could neither confirm nor deny that the passengers were taken ill with coronavirus. Moreover, Public Health England has so far refused to comment on the suspected cases, which if were true, would raise the number of confirmed cases in the UK to four.
According to the latest figures, so far, over 259 people have died from the coronavirus, with nearly 12,000 infections confirmed. According to the World Health Organisation, the vast majority of the cases are still within China; about 100 cases have been confirmed in 21 other countries, including the US, Russia, UK, Australia, France and the United Arab Emirates. All of China’s provinces and territories have now been touched by the virus outbreak. So far, there have been no deaths recorded outside of China.
Australia and the United States have been the first countries to temporarily halt non-citizens from entering who have recently visited China.