Two British politicians have been warned they may have come into contact with the deadly coronavirus at a bus conference in London last week.

Labour MPs Alex Sobel and Lillian Greenwood were among about 250 people who attended the UK Bus Summit in Westminster last Thursday.

Now a week later, they've been informed by public health officials that one of the delegates has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

"We are contacting you to inform you that a person with confirmed Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) attended the UK Bus Summit at the QEII Centre in London on 6th February 2020," a letter sent to all delegates said.

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"While the degree of contact you may have had with the case at the summit is unlikely to have been significant, we are taking a precautionary approach and informing you," it added.

All attendees have now been advised to monitor their health and to "stay indoors and avoid contact with other people" if they develop symptoms of cough, fever, or shortness of breath.

But Sobel and Greenwood went one step further on Friday, announcing they were cancelling all their public engagements and would be "self-isolating" until February 20.

"I'm feeling completely well but to be extra-cautious I'm cancelling my public engagements," Greenwood said on Twitter.

*๐—ฆ๐˜๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜* As has been reported by an ITV journalist, I attended the UK bus summit on the 6th February, where it has...

Posted by Alex Sobel MP on Friday, 14 February 2020

"Just to be clear, I'm not exhibiting any symptoms," Sobel added.

Six medical workers dead

The scare came as the global death toll from the virus rose to nearly 1400 on Friday.

Chinese officials said at least six of those had been medical workers, with another 1700 believed to be infected.

After the death of whistleblower Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old ophthalmologist in Wuhan who was reprimanded and silenced by police after trying to warn other doctors about the outbreak in December, 10 academics circulated an open letter calling for political reform and freedom of speech in China.

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Under criticism over the handling of the crisis, the ruling Communist Party has sacked two top-ranking officials in the virus-hit Hubei province, and replaced them with senior cadres with security backgrounds.

Battling the epidemic is a "big test for the country's governance system and governance ability," President Xi Jinping said at a political meeting on government reforms, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

The outbreak has exposed "shortcomings," Xi acknowledged, adding that China needed to reform its public health and epidemic prevention and control systems.