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China is ‘cremating bodies in secret’ as coronavirus death toll reaches 170

China is reportedly cremating bodies in secret as the number of coronavirus patients soars past 7,000,

The superbug has now infected more people in China than SARS, which caused chaos in the country in 2002, with 5,327 confirmed cases.

Despite 7,771 people being diagnosed with the illness in China, only 170 people have died – less than half that of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).

William Yang, a reporter for Deutsche-Welle, claims China is concealing the real number of deaths by sending people to crematoriums without identifying them.

He tweeted: "Credible Chinese media outlet @initiumnews interviewed people working at local cremation centers, confirming that many dead bodies were sent directly from the hospitals to the cremation centers without properly identifying these patients, which means there are patients who died from the virus but not adding to the official record.

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"So there are reasons to remain skeptical about what #China has been sharing with the world because while they have been more transparent about certain things related to the virus, they continue to be sketchy and unreliable in other aspects."

About 200 Britons who are trapped in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the outbreak started, will be quarantined at a UK military base for 14 days once the Chinese authorities finally allow them to leave.

The UK has not had a confirmed case yet, although health experts have warned that the virus is likely already here.

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More than 100 people have been tested in Britain, but all results have come back negative.

Experts at Southampton University have found that a coronavirus outbreak is more likely in Britain than any other country in Europe.

The UK is on the front line in the battle against the killer disease – owing to the number of Chinese visitors.

More than 142,000 tourists arrive in London alone between January and the middle of March every year.

Researchers at Southampton University measured the potential global spread for the first time, finding the UK was the most "at-risk" nation on the continent.

Globally, it was ranked 17th, after the US (6th) and Australia (10th) – with London the 19th most vulnerable city across the world.

Thailand, which has the most cases outside of China as of Thursday morning, topped the list of countries most at risk.

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