The businessman at the centre of a UK outbreak of coronavirus has thanked the NHS for his treatment and said he is "fully recovered".

Steve Walsh, from Hove, who is still in quarantine at St Thomas' Hospital in London, picked up coronavirus while at a conference in Singapore - the Brighton Argus reports.

On his way back to the UK, he stopped off for several days at a French ski chalet, where five Britons were subsequently infected with the virus.

He is also linked to at least five further cases of coronavirus in the UK, including two doctors, one of whom worked at a Brighton surgery that has closed its doors.

Speaking from hospital, Mr Walsh, a cub scout leader, said in a statement: "I would like to thank the NHS for their help and care - whilst I have fully recovered, my thoughts are with others who have contracted coronavirus.

"As soon as I knew I had been exposed to a confirmed case of coronavirus, I contacted my GP, NHS 111 and Public Health England.

"I was advised to attend an isolated room at hospital, despite showing no symptoms, and subsequently self-isolated at home as instructed.

Epping Forest Guardian:

"When the diagnosis was confirmed I was sent to an isolation unit in hospital, where I remain, and, as a precaution, my family was also asked to isolate themselves.

"I also thank friends, family and colleagues for their support during recent weeks and I ask the media to respect our privacy."

A statement from gas analysis firm Servomex, where Mr Walsh is employed, said: "We are very pleased that Steve Walsh has made a full recovery. We continue to provide support to him and his family.

"We are working with public health authorities to ensure the welfare of our staff and communities and wish anyone with the virus a quick and full recovery."

Earlier, Paul Cosford, emeritus medical director of Public Health England (PHE), said the four new cases of coronavirus announced in the UK on Monday were "not a complete surprise" because they were all contacts of Mr Walsh.

Epping Forest Guardian:

He said "contact tracing" run by PHE was"working very well".

He declined to say Mr Walsh was a "super-spreader" though he said he was aware of the term.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said: "It's nothing to do with their behaviour, it's simply a biological fact.

"We factor that into the contact tracing that we do.

"I should say that the people who are of concern are those who have had very close contact with somebody with coronavirus - face-to-face contact or within a two-metre range for 15 minutes or more."

He said PHE was working to trace the contacts of two healthcare workers who are among the four new cases announced on Monday.

"A small number of them will be patients who these healthcare workers have been involved with treating but it is actually a relatively small number.

"There is not a general risk to any patient of the NHS in that area. We will be - and have already been - identifying the people who have been in particularly close contact."

In Brighton, where several cases of coronavirus have been diagnosed, the County Oak Medical Centre closed its doors after reports that one of the doctors working there had contracted the virus.

Speaking outside the centre on Tuesday, one patient, a 43-year-old mother-of-four from Brighton, said: "I was here on the 3rd and the 5th (of February) and they will not tell me the risk even though I am immunosuppressed with lupus."

She said she has called 111 several times but was told "the risk isn't known" and to stay in for 14 days if she feels at risk.

She said: "Nobody knows anything. It's a farce. Everybody is worried about it.

"No-one can protect themselves and we can't protect the public."

The pharmacy at County Oak Medical Centre would reopen on Tuesday, staff confirmed, but the surgery is expected to remain shut.

A second branch of the surgery is also closed.

Earlier, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organisation, issued a statement on Twitter.

He said that, with 99 per cent of coronavirus cases in China, "this remains very much an emergency for that country, but one that holds a very grave threat for the rest of the world".