Coronavirus: more than 3,000 Britons tested – The Guardian

The number of people tested for coronavirus in the UK has passed 3,000, according to official figures.

Statistics from the Department of Health and Social Care show that 3,109 tests had been carried out in the UK as of 2pm on Sunday, an increase of 117 on the 2,992 reported on Saturday.

Nine people have tested positive for the virus in the UK so far, eight of whom have since been discharged from hospital after recording two negative tests.

Department of Health and Social Care
(@DHSCgovuk)

UPDATE on #coronavirus testing in the UK:

As of 2pm on Sunday 16 February 2020, a total of 3109 tests have concluded:

3100 were confirmed negative.
9 positive.

Updates will be published at 2pm daily.

For latest information visit:
▶️https://t.co/e1hwL62CDI pic.twitter.com/V4eawr4ou7


February 16, 2020

The news came as the Sunday Telegraph reported that people with flu-like symptoms could be told by authorities to self-isolate by staying at home for a fortnight if the number of confirmed cases in the UK passes 100.

The government did not comment on the report, but said official advice was under constant review as the situation developed.

The UK chief medical officers are instructing anyone experiencing a cough, fever or shortness of breath who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the past 14 days to stay indoors and call NHS 111.

NHS England said on Saturday that all 94 people in quarantine at Arrowe Park hospital in Wirral had been released. The group had been kept in isolation at the hospital after returning to the UK from Wuhan in China, the centre of the outbreak.

Prof Keith Willet, the NHS strategic incident director, said: “The last guests have left Arrowe Park hospital and I would once again like to thank them for the calm, patient and responsible way that they have responded to what must have been a trying situation.”

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.

Despite a surge in sales of face masks in the aftermath of the outbreak of the coronavirus outbreak, experts are divided over whether they can prevent transmission and infection. 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. The consensus appears to be that wearing a mask can limit – but not eliminate – the risks, provided they are used correctly.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised UK nationals to leave China where possible. 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.

Justin McCurry

More than 100 people, who were evacuated later from the region, remained in isolation at the Kents Hill Park Hotel in Milton Keynes.

“I am also pleased that eight of the nine individuals who tested positive for coronavirus have now been successfully treated and discharged from hospital,” said Matt Hancock, the health secretary.

“I want to stress that any individuals who are discharged from hospital are now well and do not pose any public health risk to the public. Again, this is evidence of how well prepared our NHS is to deal with the Wuhan coronavirus.”

On Saturday, an 80-year-old Chinese man in France on holiday became the first person to die from virus in Europe, and the first fatality outside Asia. The patient, who was from the province of Hubei that includes Wuhan, had arrived in France on January 16 and suffered a lung infection caused by the virus.

While the death toll in mainland China has risen by 142 to 1,665, the country’s authorities also reported the number of new cases has fallen for the third straight day to 2,009.

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