British health officials said on Friday two people had tested positive for the novel coronavirus , in the country’s first confirmed cases since the deadly outbreak emerged in China and began to spread globally this month. “We can confirm that two patients in England, who are members of the same family, have tested positive for coronavirus,” Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, said in a statement. “The patients are receiving specialist NHS care, and we are using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus,” he added, referring to the National Health Service. Whitty said the state-funded NHS was “extremely well-prepared” and officials were “working rapidly to identify any contacts the patients had, to prevent further spread”. “We have been preparing for UK cases of novel coronavirus and we have robust infection control measures in place to respond immediately,” he added. The virus, which originated in the central Chinese city Wuhan, has so far killed 213 people and spread to at least 18 countries around the world. The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday declared it an international public health emergency. Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, has been subject to an unprecedented lockdown, preventing residents from leaving in a bid to stop the deadly virus from spreading further. Thousands of foreigners were among millions of people confined in the metropolis, and numerous countries have begun airlifting their citizens out. Global travel restrictions imposed on Chinese travellers as airlines cut flights to mainland A charter plane carrying evacuees from Wuhan arrived in Britain on Friday. The flight landed at Royal Air Force base Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire, south central England, with 83 British citizens and 27 others on board. The returning Britons will be isolated for 14 days at a medical facility in the northwest of England. It is understood the newly-confirmed cases of the virus in Britain are not located in that region. UK health officials declined to reveal where they had occurred citing patient confidentiality. Meanwhile, a French citizen evacuated by plane with some 180 others from Wuhan has been hospitalised with coronavirus symptoms, Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said on Friday. On landing at a military base near sourthern port city of Marseille, “the person was directly transferred to Timone hospital and will obviously be tested,” said the minister, who met the passengers on arrival. The passengers will be placed in quarantine in a holiday camp for two weeks. Germany on Friday sent a military plane to Wuhan to evacuate “over 100” of its citizens from the virus-hit region, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said. “We are relieved that we are at this point,” said Maas, adding that there were no confirmed or suspected infections with the novel coronavirus among the German evacuees. The plane is expected to return to Germany on Saturday, where passengers will be held in quarantine for two weeks at a military base in Germersheim, near Stuttgart. Maas said the evacuations would be voluntary, and all of those on board would be German citizens. Germany now has five confirmed cases of the virus, including the first of human-to-human transmission on European soil - a 33-year-old man who fell ill after attending a training session hosted by a visiting Chinese colleague. All five patients are in isolation in a Munich hospital.