A case of the coronavirus in South London was confirmed on Wednesday evening (February 12), bringing the total number of cases in the UK up to nine.

The as yet unnamed patient was initially taken to a South London hospital on Wednesday.

Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Chris Witty said the patient was now being treated at a specialist NHS centre at Guy's and St Thomas' in London.

Witty said this latest case of the potentially deadly virus was contracted in China, where the disease is thought to have originated.

"One further patient in England has tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total number of cases in the UK to nine.

"This virus was passed on in China and the patient has now been transferred to a specialist NHS centre at Guy's and St Thomas' in London," he said.

The latest case of the virus was announced after a two-week quarantine at Arrowe Park Hospital in Merseyside of 83 UK nationals flown back to Britain from Wuhan was set to end on Thursday morning.

Reports suggested all 83 Britons tested negative.

One of the patients, Kharn Lambert, confirmed the group were being released tomorrow and told the PA news agency: "I'm ecstatic and I'm so happy that everyone has come back with negative test results."

Meanwhile, Steve Walsh, the businessman at the centre of the UK outbreak of coronavirus, has said he is "happy to be home" after being given the all-clear and then discharged from hospital.

Wednesday's ninth diagnosis of the virus in the UK came hours after Dr Paul Cosford, from Public Health England, told the BBC more cases of coronavirus in the UK are "highly likely".

He said there are a number of "countries of concern" and that people returning from travelling abroad could bring in further cases.

Of the nine people so far diagnosed with coronavirus in the UK, two are GPs.

Officials know that the pair worked at a nursing home, Worthing Hospital A and E and two GP practices between them.

Professor Neil Ferguson, from the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College, London, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme the world was "in the early phases of a global pandemic at the moment" and the true number of UK cases is higher than the existing count.

He said it was "highly unlikely" the UK could stop transmission of coronavirus and it was likely to "get going" in the UK in the next few weeks, peaking a few months later.

He said up to 60 per cent of people could become infected, with most suffering mild symptoms.