First case of coronavirus confirmed in Sunderland
One person has tested positive for coronavirus in Sunderland making it the first case of the illness in the city.
One adult has tested positive for Covid-19 in Sunderland, Public Health England have confirmed.
This brings the number of coronavirus cases in the North East to six.
There are no confirmed cases in County Durham, Gateshead, South Tyneside, Northumberland or Hartlepool, as of 9am on Monday, March 9.
Gillian Gibson, Director of Public Health at Sunderland City Council, said: “The first case of a resident with COVID-19 has been confirmed in Sunderland.
“The resident affected is receiving care at South Tyneside District Hospital and our best wishes are with the individual and their family.
“The health and well-being of our residents is our top priority and we are continuing to take our lead from Public Health England and to work closely with them and with other partners to monitor developments, communicate the latest guidance and prevent the virus from spreading.
“Sunderland has robust infection control plans in place and we are taking all the precautionary actions necessary to support and protect our communities in line with the Government’s published action plan.
“While we still have a lot to learn about the virus, the advice from the UK Government’s chief scientific adviser is that for the vast majority of people who catch COVID-19, it will be a mild illness.
“The best way anyone can protect themselves and others from the virus is to wash their hands thoroughly and often with soap and water, or use a hand sanitiser, and to cough or sneeze into a tissue, bin it and wash their hands.
“Anyone who thinks they have symptoms should contact the NHS 111 online Coronavirus service: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 or call NHS 111 rather than visiting their GP, hospital or pharmacy.
“We would urge everyone to stay up to date with the latest official advice and information by visiting: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus”
Dr Paul McAndrew, Deputy Medical Director at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We can confirm that we are currently caring for a patient who has tested positive for the COVID-19 infection. They are being very safely cared for by our highly skilled team at South Tyneside District Hospital and all of the appropriate protection measures are in place.
“As always, our prime concern is to respect patient confidentiality at all times and we would ask the media to do the same.
“It is very much business as usual across the Trust.”
Cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) were first reported in Hubei Province, China, in December 2019 and since then, further cases of the virus have been confirmed in a number of countries.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has issued guidance for British people travelling and living overseas following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wuhan, China, and in other countries worldwide.
It is urging people to stay indoors and avoid contact with others if they have travelled to the UK from the places on the following list of designated affected areas in the last 14 days – even if they do not have symptoms.
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 and chronic lung disease.
Anyone with the above symptoms is urged to use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next, but should not visit a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
Members of the public are asked to call 111 if they need to speak to someone.