Coronavirus update - Sunday 9 February

The information in this news story was correct at the time of publishing. Find the latest updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19).

It has been confirmed by the Chief Medical Officer for England that a further patient has tested positive for novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to four. 

The new case is a known contact 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. They successfully identified this individual and ensured the appropriate support was provided.

The patient has been transferred to a specialist NHS centre at The Royal Free Hospital, and robust infection control measures are now being used to prevent any possible further spread of the virus. 

The NHS and Public Health are extremely well prepared to manage these cases and treat them, and are working quickly to identify any further contacts the patient has had. This patient followed Public Health advice by self-isolating rather than going to A&E. For the latest advice visit gov.uk/coronavirus.

The local NHS and Brighton & Hove City Council are working closely with Public Health England (PHE) to manage the situation and to ensure everyone remain as safe as possible, using robust infection control measures to prevent any possible further spread of the virus. 

Some people may be advised to “self-isolate”. This is the same precaution people are advised to take if they are suffering from a heavy cold or the winter flu - stay at home and not go to work or college. During this time they will be supported by PHE, who are monitoring them and will undertake further testing if they show any symptoms of the virus, and provide any further care needed.

We understand that it may be concerning if people are told to ‘self-isolate’. This is a precaution, and absolutely the right thing to do, to help reduce the risk of the virus spreading.

Public Health England are leading on control measures and they will be contacting people who may be affected using their established systems for similar situations.  If someone has not been contacted by PHE as a close contact, they do not need to take any action.

Public Health England and the office of the Chief Medical Officer are also clear in their advice that schools in Brighton & Hove do not need to close. 

If you do feel unwell having travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days, then you should stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild. 

If you have travelled from Wuhan or Hubei province in the last 14 days then you should stay indoors and avoid contact with others as you would with flu, and call NHS 111 informing them of your symptoms and inform them of your recent travel to the city.

Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
  • You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at www.gov.uk/coronavirus 
     

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