10 February 2020 20:31
A member of NHS staff said this morning (February 10) a patient had been held in isolation at Buckland Hospital in Dover. According to a source, the individual wasn't presenting any coronavirus specific symptoms and will not be tested for the virus. The scare follows four more patients in England testing positive for the condition, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to eight. The four people infected are all known contacts of a businessman who was diagnosed in Brighton last week and who contracted the virus at a conference in Singapore. The Department of Health said the four people newly-diagnosed contracted the virus in France.
It comes as the Government declared coronavirus a "serious and imminent threat to public health" as it introduced new powers to deal with the spread of the virus. A spokesperson for the university said: "We can confirm a student on our campus has been admitted to hospital today for tests. "We are following all Public Health England guidance in terms of practical next steps and we will be keeping our students and staff at the University informed if there are any developments. This comes after four more people in Brighton were tested positive for the virus – bringing the total number of UK cases to eight. Meanwhile, a GP practice in Brighton closed today (Monday) as a member of staff had contracted coronavirus.
It is understood County Oak medical centre has been shut for cleaning as a precaution, and the staff member has not been in contact with patients. Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said today, "Experts at Public Health England continue to work hard tracing patient contacts from the UK cases. "The NHS is extremely well prepared to manage these cases and treat them, and we are working quickly to identify any further contacts these patients have had." Emergency treatment pods have been set up at hospitals across Sussex to assess people presenting with coronavirus. Anyone who has travelled from anywhere in China in the last 14 days and developed symptoms of a cough, fever, or shortness of breath, is advised to immediately isolate themselves and call NHS 111. The advice on how people can protect themselves from infection is similar to the 'Catch it, Bin it, Kill it' campaign used for flu and norovirus. The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK has doubled from four to eight, as the government announced new powers to detain people suspected of having the virus. The four new cases – three men and one woman – were transferred from Brighton, where they were diagnosed, to London over the weekend in order to receive specialist care. Public Health England (PHE) later confirmed that two of the four were healthcare workers. Of those in the UK now diagnosed with the virus, five were closely linked to a businessman who was told he had the disease last week in Brighton. The development came as the UK government declared the coronavirus outbreak a serious and imminent threat to public health, a step that gives authorities additional powers to fight its spread. One of the latest group to be diagnosed is a male doctor who was part of a group that were skiing in the resort near Chamonix with the man at the centre of the Brighton outbreak, the Guardian understands. He is being treated at St Thomas' hospital in south London, one of the NHS's network of specialist high-consequence infectious diseases (HCID) treatment centres in England. A GP practice in Brighton, the County Oak Medical Centre, had been closed after a doctor there tested positive for the virus. Staff at the Cornerstone Community Centre in Hove told the area's Argus newspaper that they had been told to self-isolate as a man with the virus had attended a yoga class there last week. One of the other four confirmed cases is being treated at the HCID unit at the Royal Free hospital in north London, and the two Chinese nationals who tested positive for coronavirus in York are being treated at the HCID centre in Newcastle. Prof Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, said that eight people had tested positive for coronavirus in the UK out of 1,114 tested as of 2pm Monday. "Four further patients in England have tested positive for novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to eight," he said. It also emerged on Monday that one of those being tested was a student at the University of Sussex, though no result had yet been returned. A spokeswoman for the institution said: "The student had recently returned from overseas. We are following all Public Health England guidance in terms of practical next steps and we will be keeping our students and staff at the university informed if there are any developments. PHE medical director Yvonne Doyle said: "As a result of our contact tracing, we now know the new cases announced today are all closely linked to one another. Two of these new cases are healthcare workers and as soon as they were identified, we advised them to self-isolate in order to keep patient contact to a minimum." Show Hide The World Health Organization is recommending that people take simple precautions to reduce exposure to and transmission of the Wuhan coronavirus, for which there is no specific cure or vaccine. The UN agency advises people to: Frequently wash their hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or warm water and soap Cover their mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when sneezing or coughing Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever or cough Seek early medical help if they have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, and share their travel history with healthcare providers Avoid direct, unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals when visiting live markets in affected areas Avoid eating raw or undercooked animal products and exercise care when handling raw meat, milk or animal organs to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods. There is some evidence to suggest that masks can help prevent hand-to-mouth transmissions, given the large number of times people touch their faces. It is also warning that travellers from Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand who develop symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath within 14 days of returning the UK should contact the NHS by phone. "The new cases are all known contacts of a previously confirmed UK case, and the virus was passed on in France. Experts at Public Health England continue to work hard tracing patient contacts from the UK cases. "The patients have been transferred to specialist NHS centres at Guy's and St Thomas' and the Royal Free hospitals, and we are now using robust infection control measures to prevent further spread of the virus." The health secretary, Matt Hancock, said on Monday that "the incidence or transmission of novel coronavirus constitutes a serious and imminent threat to public health" and designated Arrowe Park hospital in Wirral and Kents Hill Park conference centre in Milton Keynes as official "isolation" facilities. Under the measures announced on Monday, the Department of Health said people with coronavirus could now be forcibly detained and sent to isolation if public health professionals believed there was a reasonable risk that they may have the virus. "NHS staff and others will now be supported with additional legal powers to keep people safe across the country," he said. "The transmission of coronavirus would constitute a serious threat, so I am taking action to protect the public and isolate those at risk of spreading the virus. It has been reported that the new powers were introduced in response to one of the Britons who returned from Wuhan in China, the centre of the outbreak, attempting to leave isolation at Arrowe Park hospital on Merseyside. The new designation by the Department of Health follows reports that a British man who caught coronavirus at a business conference in Singapore had been linked to at least seven other confirmed cases in England, France and Spain. He was diagnosed with the virus in Brighton and was transferred on Thursday to St Thomas'.