LONDON, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Two patients have tested positive for novel coronavirus in Britain, the Department of Health and Social Care announced on Friday, the first such cases in Britain.

The two patients are members of the same family, the department said, adding that local authorities are identifying any contacts the patients had to prevent further spread.

"The patients are receiving specialist National Health Service care, and we are using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus," Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said.

"We have been preparing for UK cases of novel coronavirus and we have robust infection control measures in place to respond immediately," he added.