Tests for coronavirus are being increased to include people displaying flu-like symptoms at 11 hospitals and 100 GP surgeries across the UK.
The tests will provide an "early warning" if the virus is spreading, Public Health England Medical Director Prof Paul Cosford said.
Up to now, people were tested only if they displayed symptoms having recently returned from one of the countries where there has been an outbreak, including China, South Korea and northern Italy. However, Prof Cosford said Public Health England was now working with hospitals and GP surgeries to conduct "random" tests.
These will target some patients with coughs, fevers or shortness of breath, regardless of whether they have travelled to a place where the virus is spreading.
"If we do get to the position of a more widespread infection across the country, then it will give us early warning that's happening," said Prof Cosford.
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Source: BBC News, 26 February 2020