COUNCIL bosses will consider a borough's response in the event coronavirus spreads to East Lancashire.

Blackburn with Darwen Council's people overview and scrutiny committee will consider the best ways for the local authority to respond to the global outbreak of the Covid-19 virus - more commonly referred to as coronavirus.

Committee members will also discuss an action plan which could be implemented if the situation worsens over the coming weeks and months.

Members will meet at Blackburn town hall to discuss the issue on Monday, March 9.

On Friday, the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Wales, as two more were identified in England - bringing the total number in the UK to 19.

Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr Frank Atherton confirmed one person had been diagnosed with the virus after travelling back to Wales from Italy.

He said: "I can confirm that one patient in Wales has tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19).

"All appropriate measures to provide care for the individual and to reduce the risk of transmission to others are being taken.

"I can also confirm that the patient had travelled back to Wales from northern Italy, where the virus was contracted.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to assure the public that Wales and the whole of the UK is well prepared for these types of incidents."

Public Health Wales is now working to identify close contacts and reduce any risk to the public's health, said Dr Giri Shankar, the body's incident director for the coronavirus outbreak response.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health confirmed two further cases of coronavirus in England.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty said: "The virus was passed on in Iran and the patients have been transferred to specialist NHS infection centres at the Royal Free Hospital."

The total number of cases in England is now at 17, and the first case in Northern Ireland was confirmed on Thursday.

The Northern Ireland patient had recently returned from northern Italy, while a parent at a primary school in Derbyshire contracted the virus in Tenerife, where 168 Britons are being kept in a hotel in the south-west of the island.

Italy has become the worst-affected country in Europe, with at least 650 cases and 15 deaths.

On Friday, easyJet said it will be cancelling flights as a result of the continued spread of coronavirus.

The budget airline said the move will particularly affect "those into and out of Italy", and it will adapt its flying programme to best support demand.