WORCESTERSHIRE residents are being advised to continue following public health guidance after West Midlands’ first cases of coronavirus was confirmed by health officials.

Public Health England (PHE) confirmed the Birmingham patient has tested positive for COVID-19.

Katie Spence, Public Health England West Midlands deputy director of health protection, said: “Public Health England is contacting people who had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 who is a Birmingham resident.”

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The Birmingham case has taken the overall number of cases in the UK to 115, with UK health officials now moving towards the second phase of their response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Yesterday the country’s chief medical adviser Professor Chris Whitty told MPs that the government was mainly at ‘delay’ phase of the government’s four-part plan - despite still officially being in the first ‘contain’ phase.

The government has previously said the delay phase could include non-emergency operations cancelled in hospitals, the closure of schools and the potential for a ban on some mass gatherings.

A message on Worcestershire Acute Hospital Trust’s website reads: “All of our services are operating as usual and patients should not be concerned.

“If you have a hospital appointment, please attend this as planned.”

Meanwhile, a statement on coronavirus has appeared on the University of Worcester’s website.

The statement reads: “The safety and wellbeing of our community is, and always will be, our highest priority.

“This is an evolving situation and we will continue to work with the UK government and local public health authorities to share appropriate guidance.”

The statement added that the University’s presumption is that the vast majority of planned activities related to travel abroad on University business, for the next few months, will be “paused, postponed or cancelled.”