As the situation with Coronavirus continues to evolve globally, and today with confirmed cases in Britain, please find an update below from the Department of Health, UK Government, sent to us today as a social care provider.
Please be assured that Apple House has in place its own robust emergency plans as well as stringent policies and procedures around infection control. The health of our staff team and those whom we support is key and we will remain vigilant and continue to monitor the situation. — Jane Montrose, Managing Director, Apple House care homes.
Two patients in England have tested positive for coronavirus. Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, has shared a statement. If more cases are confirmed in the UK, it will be announced as soon as possible by the Chief Medical Officer of the affected country.
Based on the World Health Organization’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. This permits the government to plan for all eventualities.
The risk to individuals in the UK has not changed at this stage. Our advice for travellers from Wuhan and Hubei Province remains unchanged from the below and we have added further advice for travellers from elsewhere in China.
As of 31 January, a total of 177 UK tests have concluded, of which 175 were confirmed negative and 2 positive.
1,466 passengers and 95 staff arrived in the UK on direct flights from Wuhan between 10 and 24 January.
Public Health England are working to contact the remaining passengers.
We have been working in close collaboration with international colleagues and the World Health Organisation to monitor the situation in China and around the world.
The Department of Health and Social Care will be publishing updated data on this page on a daily basis at 2pm until further notice.
A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
Novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.
If you have travelled from Wuhan or Hubei Province to the UK in the last 14 days you should immediately:
If you are in Northern Ireland, call your GP.
Please follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus.
If you have travelled from elsewhere in China (but not Macao or Hong Kong) to the UK in the last 14 days and develop symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath, you should immediately:
If you are in Northern Ireland, call your GP.
Please follow this advice even if your symptoms are minor.
We are asking people to take simple, common-sense steps to avoid close contact with other people as much as possible, like they would with other flu viruses.
This means remaining at home for 14 days after arriving from Wuhan or Hubei Province (or elsewhere in China if you have symptoms) and not going to work, school or public areas.
Where possible, you should avoid having visitors to your home, but it’s ok for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food.
You should not use public transport or taxis until 14 days after your return from Wuhan or Hubei Province (or elsewhere in China if you have symptoms).
We recommend that you stay at home for 14 days after arriving from Wuhan or Hubei Province (or elsewhere in China if you have symptoms), and avoid public places. Where possible, contact a friend, family member or delivery services to carry out errands on your behalf.
We recommend that you stay at home for 14 days after arriving from Wuhan or Hubei Province (or elsewhere in China if you have symptoms), and avoid public places. Where possible, contact a friend or family member to take your children to school.
This is an evolving situation and the advice has changed based on emerging information from China about the number of cases and spread of the infection from person to person.
This is a highly precautionary measure to limit the potential spread of infection.
If you develop a fever, cough or shortness of breath, you should continue to follow the advice above. Please do not leave your home and call NHS 111 immediately.
We have introduced advanced monitoring at airports with direct flights from China.
A team of public health experts has been established in Heathrow to support anyone travelling in from China who feels unwell. These hubs will bring in rotational teams of 7 clinicians, working in shifts, who will be on hand to support patients on arrival. This is in addition to medical staff who are already permanently in place at all UK airports and the advice issued to all UK airports for people travelling to and from China.
The government has issued clinical guidance for the detection and diagnosis of novel coronavirus (2019-nCov), and infection prevention and control.
The Chief Medical Officer, Medical Director at PHE and Medical Director at NHSE/I have issued advice via a CAS (Central Alerting System) alert to frontline staff to increase awareness of the situation and any actions to take.
Most people who develop symptoms will get them after leaving the airport and so the priority is providing UK residents and travellers with the latest information to make sure they know what to do if they experience symptoms, and the NHS and PHE have an established plan to respond to someone who becomes unwell.
China has also introduced port-of-exit screening so people already exhibiting symptoms are not allowed to leave the country.
Based on current evidence, novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild. Those who have died in Wuhan appear to have had pre-existing health conditions.
The UK is now one of the first countries outside China to have a prototype specific laboratory test for this new disease. Healthcare professionals who are contacted by a patient with symptoms following travel to Wuhan have been advised to submit samples to PHE for testing. Individuals should be treated in isolation
After the experience of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003, PHE developed a series of diagnostic tests to detect any member of the family of coronaviruses. These have been used for several years, and were able to detect the first UK case of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in 2012.
With the first reported publication of the genome sequence of a 2019 novel coronavirus, PHE was able to rapidly develop further specific tests for this virus, working with WHO and global network of laboratories.
When a clinician suspects novel coronavirus (2019-nCov), they take samples from the nose, throat and deeper respiratory samples, package and send them safely to PHE Colindale. PHE can provide a laboratory result from this specific virus on the same working day.
PHE also has the capability to sequence the viral genome and compare this to published sequences from China, if a case occurs. This will provide valuable information on any mutations in the virus over time and allow an improved understanding of how it spreads.
Published 24 January 2020
Last updated 31 January 2020 + show all updates