Passenger on United flight with suspected coronavirus
A passenger with suspected coronavirus was on board a flight from San Francisco which landed at Heathrow this morning.
Other passengers on United Airlines Flight 901 have told Sky News the captain told them to stay in their seats after landing because someone had been “taken ill”.
Andy West, from Henley-on-Thames, said he knew something was happening when he saw a fire engine had met the plane, which was not allowed to park at the terminal.
He said staff then informed passengers that the individual had suspected coronavirus, or COVID-19, and they would need to wait for officials to board the plane.
The passenger was taken to the back of the plane but Mr West said the cabin crew were not wearing any protective clothing, including face masks.
In pictures: Coronavirus outbreak (Photos)
Passengers react after they disembarked from the MS Westerdam, back, at the port of Sihanoukville, Cambodia, on Feb. 14. Hundreds of cruise ship passengers long stranded at sea by virus fears cheered as they finally disembarked Friday and were welcomed to Cambodia. China on Friday reported another sharp rise in the number of people infected with a Coronavirus (COVID-19), as the death toll neared 1,400.
Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen (C) speaks to passengers on board the Westerdam cruise ship in Sihanoukville on Feb. 14, where the liner on February 13 docked after being refused entry at other Asian ports due to fears of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Cambodia’s strongman premier Hun Sen welcomed on February 14 the passengers of a US cruise ship blocked from several Asian ports over fears of a deadly new virus.
A young passenger Westerdam cruise ship holds up a sign on a bus after disembarking on Feb. 14 in Sihanoukville, where the liner docked after being refused entry at other Asian ports due to fears of Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Passengers on board the Westerdam cruise ship look on in Sihanoukville on Feb. 14, where the liner on February 13 docked after being refused entry at other Asian ports due to fears of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Cambodia’s strongman premier Hun Sen welcomed on February 14 the passengers of a US cruise ship blocked from several Asian ports over fears of a deadly new virus.
A man wears a gas mask as he holds a bouquet of flowers, following the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Valentine’s Day in Hong Kong on Feb. 14.
This photo taken on Feb. 13 shows a train attendant gesturing to medical staff leaving for Wuhan in Nanchang, China’s central Jiangxi province. The death toll from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic neared 1,400 on Feb. 14, as the United States complained of a “lack of transparency” from Beijing over its handling of a crisis that has fueled global panic.
A man wears a mask as he walks across an empty intersection during the morning rush hour as snow falls on Feb. 14 in Beijing.
Nurses wearing protective face masks enter a community hospital on Feb. 13 in Shanghai. China’s official death toll and infection numbers from the deadly (COVID-19) Coronavirus spiked dramatically on Feb. 13 after authorities changed their counting methods, fueling concern the epidemic is far worse than being reported.
A vendor wearing a mask waits for customers while a man looks at a protective suit displayed for sale at a whole-sale market for medical stuffs, following the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), on Feb. 13 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Matt Raw, a British national who returned from Wuhan in China, after being repatriated by the UK Government, poses for a photo after leaving Arrowe Park Hospital where he spent two weeks in quarantine on Feb. 13 in Wirral, Merseyside. 83 people are expected to leave quarantine today after their test results for COVID-19 came back negative. A total of 9 people in the UK have been diagnosed with the disease, which originated in Wuhan China and has killed at least 1,357.
A staff member works in a laboratory on Feb. 13 in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province. As a designated service provider of nucleic acid detection of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), KingMed Diagnostics laboratory in Wuhan conducts non-stop detection service and detects over 2,000 samples from various cities in Hubei Province every day.
(FromL) Mayor of Barcelona Ada Colau, Chairman of the Board of Administration of Fira de Barcelona Pau Relat, GSMA director general Mats Granryd and GSMA chief executive officer John Hoffman give a press conference in Barcelona on Feb. 13, a day after organizers of the World Mobile Congress said they had cancelled the world’s top mobile trade fair due to fears stemming from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) that sparked an exodus of industry heavyweights. The mobile fair is one of the biggest events worldwide to be cancelled so far owing to the virus that has killed more than 1,100 people to date. The announcement came after the GSMA, the mobile trade association that organizes the annual show, met to decide the fate of the event that had been planned to run in Barcelona from February 24-27.
View of a deserted Los Angeles Chinatown as people stay away due to fear of the novel coronavirus, (COVID-19) after the US has now 15 confirmed cases, in Los Angeles, California, on Feb. 13. President Donald Trump said he expected the outbreak would disappear in April due to hotter weather, a prognosis at odds with top US health officials.
Personnel at the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) work the Emergency Operations Center in response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), among other things, on Feb. 13 in Atlanta, United States.
Jay Butler, Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases addresses the media about response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19 ) as Senior Adviser Ed Rouse looks on, at the Emergency Operations Center inside The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on Feb. 13 in Atlanta, United States.
A man walks in the street on Feb. 13, in Wuhan, China.
Residents wait to enter a checkpoint with a sign that reads “Returnees to Beijing registration point” in Beijing, China, on Feb. 13.
A man wears a protective mask as he rides a bike on an empty street on Feb. 13, in Wuhan, China.
Out-of-service buses are parked on Feb. 13, in Wuhan, China.
Medical personnel check the conditions of patients in Jinyintan Hospital, designated for critical COVID-19 patients, in Wuhan, China, on Feb. 13.
Workers make face masks in the workshop of a textile company in Jimo District of Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province, on Feb. 12. Qingdao Municipal Bureau of Industry and Information Technology has mobilized two large textile companies to produce face masks to help the fight against the novel coronavirus epidemic.
Workers install a banner with hygiene recommendations outside the Mobile World Congress MWC venue on Feb. 12 in Barcelona, Spain. Organisers of the World Mobile Congress were holding urgent talks today over the fate of the world’s top mobile fair after a string of industry heavyweights withdrew over novel coronavirus, COVID-19, fears, a source close to the meeting said.
A man pushes another man on wheelchair past a propaganda banner on a wall read, “Strengthen self-protection, do not panic, believe in science, do not spread rumours”, following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country, in Beijing, China on Feb. 11.
Medical staff members collect samples from Chinese paramilitary police officer to be tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus as they return from holidays in Shenzhen, China on Feb. 11.
A woman wearing a protective facemask walks behind Saint Valentine’s decorations in a shopping mall in Bangkok on Feb. 11
Sanitation vehicle disinfects the street in Tengzhou, China on Feb. 11. The number of fatalities from coronavirus epidemic jumped to 1,113 nationwide after another 97 deaths were reported by the national health commission.
Medical team members pose for a group photo before leaving for Xiaogan City of Hubei Province on Feb. 11 in Chongqing, China. A team comprising of 159 medical workers were assigned to aid the novel coronavirus control efforts in the region.
China has confirmed human-to-human transmission of a new SARS-like coronavirus linked to an outbreak in Wuhan. With the number of cases soaring and spreading to countries beyond China, the World Health Organization has declared an international public health emergency.
Vietnamese people repatriated from Chinese city of Wuhan wearing protective suits arrive at Van Don airport, Quang Ninh province, Vietnam, on Feb. 10.
A passenger wearing protective mask and holding an umbrella to hang plastic bags to cover herself and her chid’s body as protection from Coronavirus, at Beijing railway station in Beijing, China, on Feb. 11.
A woman wearing a face mask walks through a device that sprays disinfectant at an entrance to a residential compound, following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country, in Tianjin, China, on Feb. 11.
Police in protective gear wait to evacuate residents from a public housing building, following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, in Hong Kong, China, on Feb. 11.
Family members of passengers onboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess, where dozens of passengers were tested positive for coronavirus, wave and talk to them on the phone at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, Japan, on Feb. 11.
A Malaysian Royal Guard wears a protective mask while he stands guard outside National Palace, following the outbreak of a new coronavirus in China, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Feb. 10.
Passers-by interact with a Promobot robot that informs the public about the symptoms of coronavirus and how to prevent it from spreading in New York on Feb. 10.
A man wears a protective mask as he watches a movie in an empty theater in Hong Kong on Feb. 10.
A closed Apple store is seen as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, in Shanghai, China on Feb. 10.
A woman wearing a mask as a precaution for coronavirus outbreak, in Shanghai, China on Feb. 10.
A passenger gestures after hanging a banner reading please broadcast this on TV (R) next to banners reading thank you for reporting this (C) and shortage of medicine (L) on the Diamond Princess cruise ship at Daikoku Pier where it is being resupplied and newly diagnosed coronavirus cases taken for treatment as it remains in quarantine after a number of the 3,700 people on board were diagnosed with coronavirus, on Feb. 10 in Yokohama, Japan. 70 passengers are now confirmed to be infected with coronavirus as Japanese authorities continue treating people on board. The new cases bring the total number of confirmed infections to 96 in Japan, the largest number outside of China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, centre, wearing a protective face mask and waving as he inspects the novel coronavirus pneumonia prevention and control work at a neighborhood in Beijing, on Feb. 10.
Signs warning patients about the 2019-nCoV strain of the novel coronavirus, are pictured at The County Oak Medical Centre in Brighton, England on Feb. 10, after it closed for ‘urgent operational health and safety reasons’, following reports a member of staff was infected with the virus.
Workers and army officers wearing protective suits walk away from the cruise ship Diamond Princess, as they prepare to transfer passengers tested positive for the novel coronavirus, at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, Japan on Feb. 10.
The Royal Free NHS hospital is pictured in London on Feb. 10, where some of the UK nationals that have been confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV strain of the novel coronavirus have been taken.
Traders wearing face masks are seen on the trading floor at a flower auction trading centre following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Kunming, China Feb. 10.
People wearing face masks ride a subway in the morning after the extended Lunar New Year holiday caused by the novel Coronavirus outbreak, in Shanghai, China, on Feb. 10.
Brazilian citizens coming from the Chinese city of Wuhan land and disembark at the Air Force base of Anapolis, State of Goias, on Feb. 9 in Goias, Brazil. The rescued will stay in a kind of hotel inside the Air Base for 18 days. Those who show any symptoms of coronavirus go to another building still on the air base, and if necessary they will be transferred to the armed forces hospital in Brasilia.
Spectators wear masks amid concerns of coronavirus infections during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2020 exhibition gala in Seoul, South Korea on Feb. 9.
A group of 20 Germans evacuated from China’s coronavirus epicentre Wuhan arrive at the Red Cross Hospital in Berlin Koepenick, Germany, on Feb. 9.
A passenger wearing a mask walks outside the Shanghai railway station in Shanghai, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the coronavirus on Feb. 8.
A woman wearing a face mask takes selfies after snowfall outside the Forbidden City in Beijing, China on Feb. 6.
He said everyone was told to fill in a Health England contact form and then after 20-25 minutes they were allowed to disembark.
Mr West, who works in PR, said: “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried. My reaction was ‘wow’.”
He added that he was “a bit surprised” they had been allowed to go. Sky News spoke to him as he waited for his luggage in the baggage hall in the terminal.
This is what COVID-19 looks like under the microscope. Pic: NIAID-RML
He said they did not receive any advice about what to do and that he was not planning to self-isolate but would take every precaution if he suspected he had any symptoms.
Twitter user Neeraj Malhotra tweeted: “Just landed @heathrow T2 and captain has announced that someone on the plane has suspected #coronavirus. noone allowed to leave the plane! waiting for doctor confirmation expected either way. person isolated at the back of the plane. (fingers crossed emoji) false alarm!”
A statement from United Airlines said: “Our team at London Heathrow Airport is providing assistance related to United flight 901 (San Francisco-London Heathrow) today, following reports of an individual becoming unwell on board.
“The safety of our customers and employees is our highest priority and we continue to work closely with local authorities.”
There are now a total of 64,441 suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide.
Of these cases, 63,859 are in mainland China. There have been 1,383 deaths.